The Sound of (Posthuman) Music

This is an interesting post by Claire L Evans, the Futures Editor at Motherboard.

When she says,How to create a score which reasonably evokes a time beyond our own?’ perhaps we need not worry.  The future arrives tomorrow anyway.

She talks of a post-human time when  ‘the ears of tomorrow will most likely not be human’.  But that is a time beyond even Bostrom’s trans-human who will be ‘listening to ‘music that is to Mozart what Mozart is to bad muzak’ (Bostrom in More and Vita-More, eds. 2013: 32) [1] and also post-Eisenberg’s futuristic musings. [2].  In truth, we cannot really have any concept of ‘what it is like’ to be an intelligence who(?) derives aesthetic pleasure from some manifestation of  what we would today call ‘code’.  Some contemporary humans can ‘hear’ the music represented by a musical score, but they are the exception.

Evans says,It’s almost exquisitely myopic to judge posthuman music on its ability to “pass” as human. Artificial intelligence is likely to surprise us in its complexity, its scope, its capacity for beauty.’  It will certainly surprise ‘us’.  The real question is: will it surprise the AIs who produce it?

1. More, M. and N. Vita-More, (eds.), 2013.
The Transhumanist Reader. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.
2. Eisenberg, E., 2005. The recording angel: music, records and culture from Aristotle to Zappa. 2nd edn. New Haven, CT: London: Yale University Press.


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