Jacob Batalon: Why A.I. Will Never Replace Human Musicians

"I think that's almost impossible."

by Jacob Batalon
Natasha Chomko, aka POST-WOOK, for Inverse

Music is in a very interesting place right now.

This new generation of artists have platforms that haven’t existed before, and they have direct access to fans. It’s really interesting to watch; you’re seeing these young kids who have to be business savvy at, like, 17 years old, promoting themselves on social media.

Back in the day, you had to try to make it on the radio or try to get signed. Now, that barely even matters. It’s possible to be independent and put out your own music online. Of course, there’s a lot of instability that comes with that type of freedom. Technology hasn’t necessarily made it any easier to succeed as a musician. It’s just different.

Also read: How Jacob Batalon Became the Most Confident Guy in the MCU

"Music is something unique to humans.

As far as technology replacing human musicians, I think that’s almost impossible. Music is something unique to humans. It’s something that you need to feel in a way that only a human can. You can make a computer make a sound, but there’s something about humans capturing a certain type of way to make a note, to make a sound, to make a song. You can’t just repeat that with a computer program.

I know producers who genuinely love working with live musicians, and who love working with rappers and making like their own beats. It’s not enough to just use a computer or turntables or even a whole setup. You need people to make music. You need artists. You need collaboration.

I’d love to get back into music one day. I try to keep writing songs here and there, and I play instruments as much as I can. But as far my career, filmmaking, and everything else, I’m just trying to establish myself to a place where I don’t need to worry about ancillary things getting in the way of me being successful. I’m totally focused on acting right now.

I’m always going to love music, and if I ever have the opportunity to do something with music, I will definitely take it. But for now, for me, it’s just a cool little hobby.

Sourced from a verbal interview.

Jacob Batalon studied music theory before leaving college to pursue acting. He stars in Spider-Man: Far From Home as Peter Parker’s best friend, Ned Leeds, and is a member of the Inverse Future 50.

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