Do DJs Dream of Electric Beats? – Artificial Intelligence on Track to Replace DJs
The above title is a reference to a novel “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep” by Philip K. Dick. In short, this novel is about a bounty hunter who throughout the storyline examines the existence of the defining characteristics that separate humans from androids.
You’re probably asking right now; what the hell does this have to do with DJ’ing? Good question, but this is actually a very relevant topic to most if not all DJ performers today and poses a somewhat scary question:
Can androids or A.I. (artificial intelligence) essentially replace DJs?
There are a couple of reasons why this could be the case in the very near future.
New algorithms are coming out from several streaming services like Pandora and Spotify that continually adjusts playlists based on the evolving preferences of the user. With that said, why couldn’t venues, events, or festivals collect audience data beforehand and create mixes that will ensure audience satisfaction 99.9% of the time?
There are a lot of negative aspects to humans. We can fall ill, flake, or show up late to shows. With a cold and calculating automaton, there would be no worry of a no-show.
But even with the aforementioned reasons there is one enduring virtue about us humans that A.I. can never replace; that is creativity. Creativity separates us from any A.I. counterpart. Creativity is unique, based on experiences, and unpredictable (in a good way).
What is the creative part of DJ’ing anyway?
What DJs have in front of them are tools to access the depths of their creative souls. Vinyl, CDJs, mixers, and controllers are only tools. Have you seen a scratching routine lately? What about a DJ performing a live music production? Look at the emotions the DJ is having in the moment.
You can see the history of that DJ painted on his or her face. You can see when they saved up enough money to buy their first turntable, when they got their first gig, and all the struggles they went through to finally do what they’re passionate about.
That emotion permeates us and allows the audience to empathize with the DJ. That shared instance is what true art is all about.
Remember, computers will only do what we tell them to do. Creativity is the human arena where art, independent thought, and beautiful music will always flourish.
So to answer the question…Can androids or A.I. (artificial intelligence) essentially replace DJs?
Not anytime soon.
Don’t agree? Comment below. ↓
BPM Supreme is a source for DJ and production culture delivering exclusive performances, interviews, behind the scenes, tutorials, and much more. Keep checking our BPM Supreme Blog to get the latest in DJ trends.