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What The Beatles Teach Us About AI

| Saturday 2nd December, 2023

We need to talk about AI. But first, let’s talk about The Beatles.

Did you ever listen to The Beatles in headphones? Did you notice how DEEPLY uncomfortable it was?

Why’s that? It’s because STEREO sound was new. And they were NOT subtle about using it. They rammed certain instruments HARD into the left speaker and others hard into the right. (Listen to Flying [youtu.be/Z1ONJQLdZrk] for a great example)

Likewise when Autotune came out. Remember Cher’s robotic “If you believe in life after love”?

Over time we have refined how we use these things. We gently place sounds on the stereo stage, making room for them but not letting them stand out too much (unless we really want them to).

Autotune is now pretty much ubiquitous in pop (even on live vocals), but it’s also pretty invisible. (again unless it’s being used for effect, as T-Pain does [youtu.be/Lt2wjJlP2N4])

So on to AI. We’re now at that stage where it’s bright and shiny and new, and everyone wants to use it.

But they’re using it clumsily… sometimes posting content DIRECTLY from AI generators without editing it for tone of voice, or checking for the hallucinations that AI is prone to (ie. basic fact-checking).

I see a time quite soon where AI is seamlessly integrated into many aspects of our lives, but right now, let’s not trust it TOO MUCH.

Let’s not see it as the ANSWER, but as an ADVISOR who may or may not be wrong! Just as you might ask a good friend for advice and then choose to heed or ignore their advice (or, naturally, to REFINE your worldview using their input.)

THAT is smart AI use, and the sooner we adopt this kind of relationship with it, the better.

There is no need to be scared of AI (yet!), it is simply a tool that can help open your mind to ideas you might not have thought of, or do grunt-work for you. But it needs checking!

Let’s be responsible AI users.


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