Sep 1, 2023
"Placing faith in AI to originate creations like art and music may lead to disillusionment. Ultimately, the true creator is a higher force."
In recent times, the media has been awash with discussions about the potential impact of AI. The looming questions surround its effects on us, its potential to replace us in the workforce, and even the idea that it might become akin to a new faith. While I am undoubtedly enthusiastic about technology, particularly when it enhances our daily lives, I believe it's crucial to delve into the challenges that arise when we invest our trust in something as enigmatic as AI.
With a successful musical career spanning decades, I've witnessed firsthand how technology has upended the music industry on multiple fronts. One early instance that impacted me personally was the advent of the drum machine. Back in the 1980s and 1990s, drummers enjoyed abundant session work. However, the emergence of technology that claimed to replace drummers on records and CDs triggered panic among my fellow musicians. They feared this innovation would render us obsolete. In response, I reminded them that while drum machines could replicate our sounds, they lacked the soul that defined us. Some argued that these machines were "perfect," but I countered that only the divine could claim such perfection. This experience underscores the notion that although technology can simplify tasks, it doesn't necessarily equate to improvement – a pattern I anticipate repeating with AI.
A recent media uproar ensued when a prominent website declared its intention to replace human writers with AI-generated content. The site churned out machine-created articles, initially basking in newfound cost savings. However, issues arose when the AI struggled to distinguish fact from fiction on certain topics. The website's blind faith in the machine's capabilities came crashing down as it became clear that AI, despite its veneer of knowledge, was not infallible. This situation brought to mind Romans 11:33: "Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God." It serves as a reminder to be cautious about placing unwavering trust in unproven technologies, especially those without a track record of consistently producing miraculous outcomes.
As someone who embraces technology, I've experienced how my musical career benefited from advancements such as receiving music via MP3. This convenience accelerated my learning process. In contrast, the laborious process of recording on tape and sending it via mail was immensely time-consuming. These instances showcase technology acting as an assistant. However, there's a distinction between that and the push to make AI the master.
Placing faith in AI to originate creations like art and music may lead to disillusionment. Ultimately, the true creator is a higher force. Ephesians 3:8-11 eloquently captures this sentiment: "To make plain to everyone the administration of this mystery, which for ages past was kept hidden in God, who created all things." Our belief in our intrinsic abilities should hold greater value than any computer program.
A recollection from years ago underscores this point. I was asked to record drums for a reality show star with limited vocal experience but abundant charisma. Despite their appealing image, the singer's vocal talent fell short. Frustration mounted as the producer witnessed flat notes and off-key performances. The singer was scheduled to re-record the next day. During the studio downtime, a young engineer introduced us to a computer program called Pro Tools, capable of correcting vocal imperfections with ease. Witnessing this tool's transformational abilities left me astounded. However, I couldn't help but wonder if these technological interventions were masking the need for genuine practice.
This tool proliferated throughout the music industry, converting mediocre performances into polished gems with the click of a mouse. Yet, the question remains: At what cost? If artists had faith in their inherent abilities, they wouldn't need to rely on a computer program. I believe a similar trend is unfolding with AI on a larger scale. It is vital to remember where to place our faith and how to use technology as a means of support rather than allowing it to dominate.
In conclusion, while the promise of AI is undeniable, it's essential to approach it with a balanced perspective. Just as the introduction of the drum machine disrupted the music industry, AI is poised to reshape various sectors. However, we must remain cautious about overestimating its capabilities and remember that our trust should ultimately reside in our own potential, guided by a deeper source of wisdom and creativity.
Magesh has written for “Lessonface,” “Aeyons,” “The Modern Rogue,” “Euronews,” “The Roland corporation,” “Penlight,” and “Elite Music.” He writes several monthly publications on music education. In the past, Magesh has written for parenting, humor, mental health, and travel websites as well.