Peter Gabriel on the inevitability of AI in music: “It’s a bit like King Canute on the beach, unfortunately”

“I think you do better if you work with a powerful new tool than just grumble or pretend it doesn’t exist”

Peter Gabriel of Genesis

Image: Jim Dyson / Getty Images

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Like it or not, AI is here to stay in the music industry and artists would do better to work with it than ignore its existence, says Peter Gabriel of Genesis.

Speaking about how AI is shaking things up for everyone in a new issue of Uncut (via Music Radar), Gabriel said, “I think it’s a bit like King Canute on the beach, unfortunately. It’s coming. We’re only just building it. We have no idea what it’s going to achieve. I can’t think of anyone whose job couldn’t be done better by AI in 10 years’ time, maybe five.”

“For instance, when I drive down to the studio in my Tesla, the Tesla is doing a lot of the driving for me — but I’m still keeping my hands on the wheel. The same is going to happen more in any process, including creativity.”

He added that “With some of the AI, half the artists want to play with it and half want to shut it down. But I think you do better if you work with a powerful new tool than just grumble or pretend it doesn’t exist.”

Elsewhere, Gabriel also weighed in on Genesis’ final gig as well as his bond with his former bandmates, saying “Ultimately, there were human relationships underneath.”

“With Tony and Mike, these were people I was at school with, when I was 13 years old. There’s a lot of history there,” he explained. “It was lovely to see Phil [Collins] again, even though he wasn’t as strong as I remember him. But it brought back a lot of memories. I was very glad I was there. I had been there at the beginning, so I should be there at the end.”

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