Queen’s Brian May warns of the “massively frightening” potential of artificial intelligence

Even the most creative musicians in the world are afraid of artificial intelligence.

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

“My main concern now is in the artistic area” May told the magazine. “I think this time next year the landscape will be completely different. We won’t know which direction it’s going. We won’t know what was created by AI and what was created by humans.”

He added: “We could look back on 2023 as the last year where humans truly dominated the music scene. I really think it could be that serious and that doesn’t make me happy.”

The British guitarist’s concerns seem justified. Recently, music created using AI was accepted for the Grammys, an AI-generated song mimicking Drake went viral, and Paul McCartney announced that a final Beatles song would be released thanks to the technology.

Brian May said that AI can indeed help with production "lots of great things," Its use in art and geopolitics preoccupies him.
Brian May said that while AI can help produce “a lot of great things,” its use in art and geopolitics worries him.

Evan Agostini/Invision/Associated Press

Artificial intelligence has also become a problem for other creative people.

In Hollywood, unionized writers and actors have launched major strikes this year to demand not only fairer pay but guidelines for the use of AI, among other demands. One goal is to prevent studios from abandoning humans in favor of AI “actors.”

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

“The potential for AI to cause evil is obviously incredibly great – not just in music, because in music no one dies,” he told the medium. “People can die if AI intervenes in the politics and world domination of various nations. I find the whole thing extremely frightening.”

May isn’t the only musician to raise concerns about AI colleagues, including Sting And Ed Sheeran did the same. And although modern technology has helped recreate that Voices Dolly Parton said she had reservations about using AI to preserve her own legacy.

“I have to decide how much of this high-tech stuff I want to be involved in because I don’t want to leave my soul here on Earth,” Parton said earlier this year. “Some of these things make me feel like I have to stay here forever, and when I’m gone I want to fly with it.”

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