It’s easy to mock this as just being a VC so wrapped up in technology and trend reports that he’s willing to completely ignore the fandom, artistry, and emotional connection that has always made human-produced music so important to the majority of people on Earth. Our deep relationship with music goes back millennia, surely a few algorithms aren’t going to change that?
But then, it would be unwise to completely discount the role computer-generated ‘song equivalents’ might play in our future.
People don’t make albums like that much anymore ('3 Feet High…’ is still in a legal quagmire 30 years later), but sampling has lived on as a perfectly valid form of musicianship. Artists from all sorts of genres have built entire songs around a loop from someone else’s, while tiny samples you wouldn’t even notice help musicians build many a hit song. And hip-hop as a genre is almost entirely built on samples even to this day.
The point is that new things can become part of our wider behaviour without replacing what’s already there, even though we usually predict that ’[y] will kill [x].’
If computers can write a great song, just for you based on your existing taste, there’s no reason why you wouldn’t listen to it, enjoy it, and share it with others. Maybe others will enjoy it too. But the communal joy of following an artist’s career, of standing in a room with hundreds of other people while that artists sings a song you all love and you all song along – that’s not going to go away.
That said, don’t discount the likelihood that one day you’ll fall in love with a piece of music, only to discover later that a computer wrote it.