Guest Post by Anica Lazin
There are probably a lot of people, myself included, who often feel dizzy and overwhelmed by the speed of progress. On the verge of rolling off the road and riding only on the service route of the present or the small paths of the past. That being said, when I communicate with my two sons, I am happy to feel outdistanced by them. I find this natural and in harmony with the rising line of human evolution.
However, a little worry overshadows my joy as I question myself: Will they succeed in keeping up with the galloping pace of the development of high technologies, to undergo, without adverse consequences, multiple personal growths and to assist, resist or participate in the transformations of a society that no longer has any limit to satisfy its whims and needs?
I know that I must not worry, because as the philosopher Bertrand Russell said: “Our children are not ours, but those of their time!” There is nothing that I can do.
I am the girl from another century, the one of the industrial and post-industrial eras, the fall of empires, two great wars and global traumas, the communist wave and its onslaught, the awakening of religious torpor, post-traumatic epoch, sexual revolution, pornography, hippie movement, ubiquity of drugs, popularity of jazz, rock ‘n’ roll, funk, metal, rap, pop , punk, artistic movements like expressionism, cubism, futurism, surrealism, abstraction, pop art, contemporary art, installation art, performance and multimedia devices.
After abandoning me to enter the dusty archives of history, this twentieth century pushed me to the next, where on one side dominate the culture of the masses and the vulgar speeches whose words make us lose freedom and democracy, where we live in the fear of terrorism, where we are indignant but helpless witnesses of absurd wars, catastrophes, mass exoduses, arrogance, lies, totalitarian language, victories of ultra-nationalist leaders and a worrying intolerance for religious, national, or racial differences.
On the other hand, I welcome the courage of women and the #Metoo movement, the awakening of the increasingly collective ecological consciousness, the school and teaching reforms in a multidisciplinary framework without materials in their classic form, the dramatic discoveries in medicine, the return of healthy nutrition, of plant-based healing, of spiritual awakening and lucidity of ideas. The new information technologies, search engines and systems, and Artificial Intelligence have become the standard of this new century that penetrates us and sometimes questions our old values, knowledge, and beliefs.
We are in the age of easy communication, short and instant expressions, futuristic visions, experiments and sensational discoveries, and at the same time of forgetfulness, carelessness and indifference. How not to be overwhelmed! The classical culture is replaced by the culture of success and profit. Young people no longer learn about the life or work of Cervantes, Molière, Shakespeare, Mozart, Beethoven, Da Vinci, Rodin or Chagall. Rather, they are familiar with the lives, ideas, and wealth of Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, Larry Page, Sundar Pichai, and Bill Gates.
Within this evolution, all areas of our lives are in the process of metamorphosis. The arts, architecture, writing, translation, teaching, marketing, control, production, industry, health, sales, etc., none can escape the change. Consumption increases, the middle class dissipates, the future of young people is uncertain, rich people get richer and the poor impoverish… Where power, politics or laws fail, the machine shouts victory. We should no longer speak of its interruption in our daily lives, but rather of ours in its universe, which we ourselves have created. Caught in our own trap, we have become victims of progress.
Blinded by the brightness of the future, researchers, artists and scientists lend their knowledge, art, creativity, and purpose to machines. They feed them a statistical sampling model of their universe. The system captures, learns, memorizes and imitates it.
In the music production sector, for example, the well “armed” machine assists the artist, generates melodies, harmonies or voices that the composer can use or reject over time of the creation. By creating two networks of artificial neurons and giving them distinct roles, researchers form a dialogue and obtain surprising sounds. These strange harmonies support one or more human voices and altogether give an unexpected yet amazing result. The word “virtual” could be added to existing styles: virtual pop, virtual rap, virtual salsa, virtual jazz … After ambiophony, cacophony, euphony, homophony, or polyphony, this new sound mix could be called AI-phony.
The Machine vibrates of the human imagination, the Man vibrates of joy of having won another battle against time. Like a well-merged couple, both are caught in a whirlwind of drunkenness. And Time? He triumphs and laughs at our useless arrogance.
“Hello World” is the first multi-artist music album composed with Artificial Intelligence. Its goal is to show that AI can be used to create new, compelling music, and not mere lab demos. The album is intended to become a landmark album in the history of technology and music creation.