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I love music.
For years I dreamt of becoming a songwriter and producer in the likes of Quincy Jones, George Martin, Timbaland, or Pharrell Williams. I spent most of my adolescence and young adult life writing and producing music.
Growing up I was a good singer. I was good enough to get placed in a boy band group, signed to Jive records. A month into the deal, we were dropped from the label due to issues with the Jive executives and the A&R that discovered us. We were replaced by a one-hit-wonder group called Imajin! Ha, now imagine that!
During high school, I discovered singing wasn’t enough to woo the young ladies…I had to learn how to play the piano too. So I taught myself how to play the keys. Music, generally, came naturally to me.
I spent nearly twenty years pursuing music in some capacity. During those years I noticed there were three types of musicians:
- Nurtured musicians without natural ability — basically the kids whose parents forced them to learn an instrument.
- Untrained natural musicians — those like myself who can pick up instruments and just start playing intuitively.
- Real musicians — those who nurtured their natural ability.
While my posture playing the piano was poor, and my finger placement was not proper when transitioning across scales and chords, as an untrained natural musician, I noticed people felt my music when they heard it. The same was true for real musicians. But, the nurtured musicians, while technically their performances were flawless — it was something missing.
The difference between the real and natural musicians versus the nurtured ones was the soul.
It is said that intuition is the unconscious language of the soul and intuition is innately human. As opposed to a learned response, intuition is our innate inclination toward a particular behavior. In music, this intuition is what helps a singer bellow a certain run or riff. It’s what drives a guitarist or drummer to hit certain accent notes during a solo. Intuition drives the rawest expression of the soul, including all imperfections.
Listening to the music of today, much of the raw soul is missing. The music simply hits differently. Today people of all generations either know or can recite some classic Motown hit, joyfully sing out loud the lyrics to Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody, or play the opening melody to Beethoven’s Fur Elise on the piano.
Fifty years from now, will people still be singing anything on the current Billboard charts? Likely not. Why? Well, most of today’s music is made via a computer. The majority of singers run their vocals through some algorithm via AutoTune or Melodyne, creating pitch-perfect vocals, but the output is artificial. Studio-recorded instrumental performances are often re-recorded or layered with virtual instruments and algorithmic samples.
Humans are not perfect and it’s these imperfections that correlate to the human spirit. An algorithm can only do what it is trained to do, and as of now, the algorithms can only imitate human emotion — but they cannot replicate the authenticity of human imperfection.
I think of the current iteration and use of artificial intelligence the same way I think of the overproduction of music on the computer, or the aforementioned reluctantly nurtured musician — a great tool and vessel for expression but lacks soul.
Generative Artificial Intelligence (Generative AI), refers to unsupervised and semi-supervised machine learning algorithms that enable computers to use existing content to create new possible content.
OpenAI released ChatGPT, a prototype artificial intelligence that attempts to make “talking” with an AI feel smooth and natural, almost like a conversation between humans would.
The technology is remarkable, even at this nascent stage, in generating responses to prompted inputs with full sentences and what appears to be thought. The application of ChatGPT and other forms of generative AI models is diverse — ranging from AI-generated art, social media content, enhanced research, and even authoring superb dad jokes.
Artificial intelligence is masterful at imitation and intellect but is absent intuition. Intuition is foundational to creativity and innovation and is something that is unique to each human.
Intuition will tell the thinking mind where to look next.
– Jonas Salk
Intuition guides the hand of an artist when she makes each stroke of her paintbrush. I think this is why many of the AI-generated illustrations, while beautiful in their own way, seem to be lifeless derivatives of the original artists in which the AI was trained. There is also the question of the ethics of AI art.
Intuition helps a writer decide where he places hyperbole throughout his novel. And It is intuition that drives a pianist to emphasize a particular note in an arpeggio that invokes a feeling in the listener.
Photo: studiostoks licensed under Adobe
Great marketers, strategists, and entrepreneurs are to be informed by the data, but it is their intuition that guides which direction they should go.
In today’s world, technology has made our lives easier and more convenient in countless ways. But, this convenience comes at a cost. By relying so heavily on technology, we risk losing touch with our intuition, that inner voice that guides us and helps us make sense of everything around us.
In time there will be an overreliance on AI technology, hindering our ability to respond to our individual human intuition — and this will be unfortunate for our society.
How do we avoid such a future?
Artificial intelligence needs to elevate to a broader adoption of augmented intelligence which takes AI and places it firmly as an assistant to human needs. Augmented intelligence is best defined as a subsection of AI machine learning, developed to enhance human intelligence rather than operate independently of or outright replace it. Approaching AI in this manner complements human intuition.
Generative AI is a step toward augmented intelligence; however, we must be intentional in not allowing the technology to supersede human intuition. In moral philosophy, intuitivism amounts to a belief that our mind is able to immediately, and intuitively make the distinction between what is right and wrong. Can an AI intuitively make the same distinction?… Should an AI intuitively make the same distinction?
Intuition and technology are often seen as opposing forces, with one being based on instinct and the other on rationality.
In order for us to truly understand the world, we must use both our reason and our intuition. Reason allows us to analyze and understand complex concepts, while intuition provides us with a deeper understanding of the world and our place in it.
This is something AI is not capable of doing — at least not yet. AI is capable of learning and adapting to new situations, but it lacks the emotional and intuitive capabilities of humans.
Unlike humans, AI is not capable of experiencing emotions or having gut feelings and is therefore unable to understand the world in the same intuitive way that we do.
Technology, like generative AI, can be used to assist us in our reason, but we must never lose sight of the fact it is our intuition that allows us to navigate through life. In order to remain steadfast in this position, we must remain vigilant in practicing mindfulness.
AI is limited by the algorithms and data that it has been programmed with, whereas humans can use their intuition to think creatively and come up with solutions that may not have been considered before. This allows us to tackle complex problems and find solutions that may not be obvious to AI.
Overall, intuition is an essential part of what makes us human and gives us a distinct advantage over artificial intelligence.
My intuition tells me only the future knows how all of this will ultimately play out, and my hope is that as AI continues to advance, we continue to cultivate and rely on our intuition in order to maintain our advantage.
If you found this article thought-provoking
My name is Louis Byrd, Founder and Chief Visionary Officer of Zanago.
Remember, change happens by design…