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Holly Herndon responds to Grimes’ AI comments: “I’m not worried about robot overlords”

Holly Herndon, an expert on the intersection of music and AI, has penned an essay on Grimes’ AI comments.

November 26, 2019
Holly Herndon responds to Grimes’ AI comments: “I’m not worried about robot overlords” Grimes: Jesse Grant/Getty Images for Disney

Grimes, as she is wont to do, has been causing a hubbub online of late, discussing the fact that she believes human art will die out in the near future due to the impending prevalence of artificial intelligence. This comment has, naturally, prompted a variety of responses, with prominent musicians criticising Grimes for the nihilism of such an opinion. (Pitchfork reports that Zola Jesus called Grimes “the voice of silicon fascist privilege.”)

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Now, one of the few true experts in the field of AI-informed music has spoken out on the subject. Holly Herndon, whose latest record PROTO was made partially using AI, has responded to Grimes, writing an essay about the shortsightedness of the idea that AI can ever replace humans. “I’m not worried about robot overlords, I’m worried about democratically unaccountable transnational companies training us all to understand culture like a robot or narrow AI,” she writes. “Ultimately, AI is useless without us … AI is just us, in aggregate. That is a powerful metaphor and responsibility.”

Read Herndon’s full essay below.

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Holly Herndon responds to Grimes’ AI comments: “I’m not worried about robot overlords”