Queen’s Brian May warns of ‘extremely frightening’ potential of artificial intelligence

Even the world’s most creative musicians are worried about artificial intelligence.

In a Guitar Player interview published last month, Queen co-founder Brian May issued a dire warning about the future of entertainment and other fields, saying that human-generated works and human-generated works by AI could soon become indistinguishable.

“My main concern about this now is in the artistic realm,” May told the magazine. “I think this time next year the landscape will be completely different. We won’t know where the path is. We won’t know what was created by AI and what was created by humans.

He added: “We might look back on 2023 as the last year where humans truly dominated the music scene. I really think this could be so bad, and it doesn’t fill me with joy.

The British guitarist’s concerns seem well-founded. Recently, music created with the help of AI was made eligible for the Grammys, an AI-generated song imitating Drake went viral, and Paul McCartney announced that one final Beatles song would be released using the technology .

Brian May said that while AI can help produce “a lot of cool things,” its use in art and geopolitics concerns him.

Evan Agostini/Invision/Associated Press

Artificial intelligence has also become a concern for other creatives.

Unionized Hollywood writers and actors have launched major strikes this year not only for fairer wages, but also for guidelines regarding the use of AI, among other demands. One goal is to prevent studios from abandoning human beings in favor of AI “actors.”

Speaking to Guitar Player, May admitted that technology could help people solve problems better and produce “a lot of cool things”. But he further warned that its geopolitical application could cost lives.

“The potential for AI to cause harm is obviously incredibly enormous – not just in music, because no one dies in music,” he told the outlet. “People may die if AI gets involved in politics and global domination of various nations. I think this is all extremely frightening.

May isn’t the only musician to voice concerns about AI, as his peers including Sting and Ed Sheeran have done the same. And although modern technology has made it possible to recreate the voices and likenesses of some deceased celebrities, Dolly Parton said she would have reservations about using AI to preserve her own legacy.

“I’m going to have to decide how involved I want to be in these high-tech activities because I don’t want to leave my soul here on Earth,” Parton said earlier this year. “With some of this stuff, I feel like I’ll be anchored here forever, so when I’m gone, I want to fly with it.”


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