by Anna Tran, Kayla Hamilton, Taylor Thomas, Tre Toups, Michael Smith, Danielle Urdanivia and Ryen Stevens
The nations that are leading the way of the usage of robots in the music industry are China, Japan, South Korea, and the United States. These nations use robots in many different ways. Some robots are programmed to play music themselves in the form of bands. Also, these robots are capable of making and producing sounds that humans are incapable of making. Robots are used to mass-produce albums and help with analytics and other information to make the lives of musicians easier and more cost-efficient (McCarthy).
Algorithms are seeping into the music business to help with talent spotting, promotion and even composition in the industry. Streaming services have already ushered in an era of “hyper-personalization” for music lovers (“JozeFK”). Google’s Deepmind has been used to create a piece of classical piano music, while the technology company’s Magenta research project is using machine learning to create “compelling art and music” (“JozeFK”).
Typically, robots vary in price but are usually pricey. Used robot prices can range between an estimated $25,000 and $40,000. While other systems with application components cost between $50,000 and $75,000. Although the opportunity cost is high, these robots can do most things human producers can do, however, with less time. Surprisingly enough, there is a little variation in robot prices based on manufacturers. Similarly, sized robots offer similar functionality and repeatability costs roughly the same amount (“How Much”).
On the other hand, unlike robots, musicians make money from royalties, advances, live performances, selling merch, and licensing fees. Record labels make their money from selling records. The goal is to make enough profit from records to cover costs. However, artists are starting to mainly depend on live performances to breakeven. As the music industry changes and tries to adapt to current society. The days of selling albums are coming to an end due to the rise of music streaming. Consumers are no longer buying albums because they are all signing up with music streaming services. An example of these services is Apple Music and Spotify. Album sales are sinking and streaming hardly brings in any money; therefore, live performances are commanding high ticket prices. Most experts predict that hard copy albums will be completely wiped out by the era of streaming (Wang).
One of the many jobs that are being taken over by robots is DJs. Robots are now able to control the music in any type of event. They can take requests as well. Robots are taking jobs that are hard and time consuming for humans. Making beats and putting songs together takes a robot much less time than it does for a human. The industry is looking to make more money and robots are satisfying that demand. There is no cost to robot labor. Robots mean longer hours and less pay for the industry. In the plan of about 10-20 years, most jobs in the music industry will be taken by robots. The advantages that robots have against humans are some that are going to be very hard to overlook (Raine).
Humans are being made to work alongside robots on their day to day activities. Humans are being forced to adapt to the new ways of technology to keep up with the work that robots can do. In the music industry, humans collaborate with robots to produce songs and music quicker. Artists can produce more music faster with the help of robots (Simon).
The robots can improvise jazz melodies. They can be trained to play and write various genres of music. They help musicians predict notes one at a time. Robots help record labels promote new albums, as well as tours. The British band, Bastille, created a robot to send fans Gifs and video clips. “AI,” aka artificial intelligence, helps humans create more complex music; however, live bands are slowly being replaced by DJs: Robot DJs. There are unsure, long term ramifications of using robots in the music industry; however, robots can disrupt the labor market (Thompson). In 2017, background music generated $660 million. Robots can create catchy, tunes without a human companion. Since humans are not needed for that type of music, people can lose their jobs. Therefore, robots can disrupt that sector of the music industry. Overall, because of the rise of the robots, musicians will have no choice but to adapt to the new technology. As technology becomes more advanced, robots transformed into partners for musicians and have the ability to help make music (Fildes).
If robots take over all of the jobs that humans are doing, no one will have money to buy any of the products that the robots produce. The government will have to regulate the number of robots that can be used to reduce the amount of unemployment. This is the sad truth, one day we will be replaced by robots (Simon).
As technology advances, educational institutions should equip students with certain skills to compete with robots. They should make the students understand that humans should be good at what humans do and that robots are good at what they do. This line should be important because it can create a healthy workplace. Empathy, flexibility, and acceptability are things that we humans have over robots which play a big role in the workforce (Smith and Anderson).
Fildes, Nic. “Rise of the Robot Music Industry.” F inancial Times, The Financial Times, 2 Dec. 2016, www.ft.com/content/5ac0ff84-b7d9-11e6-961e-a1acd97f622d. Accessed 1 Nov. 2019.
“How Much Do Industrial Robots Cost?” Robot Worx: A Scott Company, Robot Worx, www.robots.com/faq/how-much-do-industrial-robots-cost. Accessed 6 Nov. 2019.
“JozeFK”. “AI is transforming music streaming, talent spotting, promotion and even composition.” Steve Hoffman: Music Forums, 6 Dec. 2016, forums.stevehoffman.tv/threads/rise-of-the-robot-music-industry.629147/. Accessed 1 Nov. 2019.
McCarthy, Niall. “These Countries Have the Most Robot Workers.” World Economic Forum, 1 May 2019, www.weforum.org/agenda/2019/05/infographic-the-countries-with-the-highest-density-of-robot-workers. Accessed 1 Nov. 2019.
Raine, Michael. “Rise of the Robots: How AI’s Changing the Music World. “Canadian Musician, CM InDepth, 6 Sept. 2018, indepth.canadianmusician.com/rise-of-the-robots-how-ai-is-changing-the-music-world/. Accessed 1 Nov. 2019.
Simon, Matt. “Who Will Pay for the Future if Not the Robots?” W ired, Conde Nast, 30 May 2017,www.wired.com/2017/05/will-pay-future-not-robots/. Accessed 6 Nov. 2019.
Smith, Aaron, and Janna Anderson. “AI, Robotics, and the Future of Jobs.” Pew Research Center: Internet and Technology, Pew Research Center, 6 Aug. 2014, www.pewresearch.org/internet/2014/08/06/future-of-jobs/. Accessed 6 Nov. 2019.
Thompson, Clive. “What Will Happen When Machines Write Songs Just as Well as Your Favorite Musician?” Mother Jones, Mother Jones and the Foundation for National Progress, Mar. 2019, www.motherjones.com/media/2019/03/what-will-happen-when-machines-write-songs-just-as-well-as-yo ur-favorite-musician/. Accessed 1 Nov. 2019.
Wang, Amy X. “How Musicians Make Money: Or Don’t at All in 2018.” R olling Stone, Penske Business Media, LLC., 8 Aug. 2018, www.rollingstone.com/music/music-features/how-musicians-make-money-or-dont-at-all-in-2018-70674 5/. Accessed 5 Nov. 2019.