Tech

Robots continue to come for human DJs, this time for people spinning sets. This isn’t good.

AI is all the rage these days, what with ChatGPT and all the open-source it has spawned. Earlier this year, I reported on a company called Futuri and its AI radio DJ offering called RadioGPT. Even in these early days, it’s possible to see the program’s potential for replacing real humans on the radio. As someone who has been in the business of radio for 42 years, this obviously scares the crap out of me.

This is just the start, too. I received this email from something called Automata Radio. The subject line read “Human DJs: Watch your back. The robots are coming us next.”

The DJs targeted by this program are the kind that spin sets in clubs. AutomataRadio describes this creation as “the world’s first AI-driven DJs that autonomously mix a constant flow of ever-changing 24/7 music with continuous mixes – including house, techno, and downtempo DJs…. These groundbreaking autonomous DJs will revolutionize electronic music and the DJ industry and change the way we experience and interact with DJs forever.”

Using various AI algorithm, the program analyzes a dizzying amount of data–BPMs, key, rhythm, and all the other things a human has to know about creating mixes and sets. The AI DJs are then programmed by artists who call themselves “technicians.” The machine then put things together to “create a constant flow of ever-changing music and a continuous mix.”

From the press release:

This project is about the DJ amplifying the artists and musicians and at the same time, AI DJs will provide listeners with an entirely new form of DJ mixing with new sounds that adapt to the vibes of the listeners and keeps the energy flowing. We believe this technology will revolutionize the DJ industry and transform the way people experience and discover new music.

Okay, I’ll bite. I had a listen–and frankly, if I were running a cool restaurant or bar that needed background vibes, this would work very, very well. Could it replace Steve Aoki, Skrillex, DeadMau5, or Marshmello? No. At least not yet. But it’s early days.

The company plans to make this tech available for hire at festivals, clubs, events, and private parties. And once things get rolling, “. The team behind the AI DJs are confident that this will change the way we experience music and look forward to continuing to leverage the technology in ways not previously intended; and ultimately to continue contemplating the impact this revolutionary new technology will have on the music industry when leveraged as an instrument and new tool for advancing the art of DJing.”

Uh-oh. Sample AutomataRadio here.

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 37821 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

One thought on “Robots continue to come for human DJs, this time for people spinning sets. This isn’t good.

  • Sadly, no one gets to act, surprised by this, between voice tuning, syndication, overnight taping, and now, artificial intelligence, the job of the DJ or any announcer is literally one iPad app away from extinction, just like a restaurant server

    Reply

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