tephan Baumann (German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence / AI-Researcher, Germany) was a speaker at Reeperbahn Festival 2017 as part of the “VUT Indie Days” session “It´s All About Artificial Intelligence and Virtual Reality - The Role of AI and VR in Today´s Music Industry“.
Reeperbahn Festival: What has been the most important issue for the music (and/or entertainment) world in 2017 and what has been the best strategy to deal with it?
Stephan Baumann: Understanding blockchain, understanding the role of VR, AR, and AI, gender mainstreaming and, generally, taking a stand on socio-political issues.
Strategy? Do the research so you know your stuff and then debate the pros and cons on a solid foundation.
Reeperbahn Festival: Which problem within the music (and/or entertainment) world should be solved by the time we convene again at the next Reeperbahn Festival Conference?
Stephan Baumann: Creativity often happens under psychologically challenging circumstances. Many creative artists suffer from known mental disorders (depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety disorders). The enormous physical and psychological pressure acts as an unhealthy catalyst. It would be good if the industry showed its colours here and concerned itself with education, professional support, and destigmatisation.
Reeperbahn Festival: Which areas of marketing and/or consuming music (or entertainment) content will be most affected by developments in AI in the near future and what hardware will play the biggest role in this?
Stephan Baumann: “Fake music”, i.e. music that is (partly-)automatically generated by AI systems. It’s often made using GPU-based hardware, as this hardware provides the performance required for high-volume amounts of data and the requisite deep learning networks.
Reeperbahn Festival: With digitalisation it has become apparent that convenience is more important than quality in many areas, not least, for example, when it comes to sound quality. Will AI and its need for data lead to convenience also being more important than privacy? While people can opt at some later point for an upgrade to their sound systems and can re-purchase their lo-res downloaded music (on vinyl or as hi-res files, etc.), such a “correction” in their private data history doesn’t work. Does the music business or, rather, do music consumers have to pay more attention to the protection of data privacy?
Stephan Baumann: Post-privacy! Convenience above everything else. AI design and development benefits from this, of course. Measuring human interaction with music, in all its facets, is an exciting feature for AI systems that predict musical preferences, consumer behaviour, and listening structures. Ultimately, consumers need to know what they want and what they’re doing. Initiatives that call on major players in these markets to be more transparent regarding their data collection mechanisms are definitely helpful, making it easier for the consumer to make a decision for or against informational self-determination.