Howard Jones has a different idea about artificial intelligence and his music

It’ll be years before we even begin to understand the effect artificial intelligence is going to have on our day-to-day lives. If we zoom in right now, there are many concerns about how AI will be used in music in a malevolent/dishonest way. Howard Jones has a different idea.

Jones is 68 and has been making music for 40-some years, resulting in hits like this.

When it came to synths, sequencers, MIDI, and drum machines, Jones was a pioneer back in the 80s. And he’s still busy experimenting.

Jones has been busy creating an AI version of his voice. If he gets too old to hit all those high notes, he’ll get his AI clone to help him out. If he loses his voice entirely, he’s taught his AI to sing just like him. And when he passes on, he’d like his singing voice to be preserved and capable of being used in the future.

I quote from The Mirror: “I still try to keep up with new technology, but this is the thing I’m very excited about. My friend, BT, who is an American electronic artist, is making the AI version of my voice. I’ll be able to use it in the studio to create choirs and different extensions of the voice, I can’t wait to use that.”

He’s aware of the technology’s limitations. Again from The Mirror:

“We’re trying to make sure the sound of my AI voice is protected. It will have stuff embedded in it so if someone gets hold of it they can’t use it without permission. I don’t think AI can come up with original things.

“It can copy and mix things from the past, but can’t really do the thing that pop music has always done, and come up with something completely new. We’re kind of almost there. I’ve heard stuff online where you’ve got Johnny Cash singing some really awful pop trash, but it’s his voice and it’s real freaky. It’s going to take a lot of discrimination from listeners to weed that stuff out. It’s early days and impossible to know what’s going to happen.”

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 38319 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

One thought on “Howard Jones has a different idea about artificial intelligence and his music

  • I thought this story was about the OTHER Howard Jones (Killswitch Engage, Light the Torch…)


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