Have Your Say: Is Artificial Intelligence About To Make DJs Obsolete?

Joey Santos | Read time: 2 mins
Mobile/event DJing Pro
Last updated 7 May, 2018


Artificial intelligence and automation are current tech buzzwords, but while stuff like having a computer turn down your lights before bed is a cool party trick, there are consequences. Job replacement is one of them: there’s already talk of how AI could radically transform law practice, rendering traditional lawyering obsolete.

And DJing isn’t safe from AI and software, either: If you’re a mobile DJ, you’ve probably heard the bride or groom asking why they should get you instead of just having a Spotify playlist with all their favourite songs playing during the reception. Or maybe the bar owner wants to cut your rate in half because she says that she can just stream a Top 40 playlist all night. You get the picture.

Just recently a company called Spark DJ said it’s working on an app for bars and restaurants that curates and plays music, and keeps customers engaged through on-screen visuals, song requests / voting and even games (there goes Pub Trivia Night). Spotify has been increasing the number of playlists that allows “automixing” where tracks blend from one song to another, even letting you jump to the next track without a jarring pause in the music.

At the moment, festival and club goers still prefer seeing a human face behind the decks (unless it’s Daft Punk or deadmau5), but let me play devil’s advocate here: What happens when that no longer becomes the case as AI and software continue to evolve and become more powerful? What happens when today’s five-year-old who spends most of her or his free time on an iPad starts going to clubs? What if rates for DJs dive so low because it all can be done by a five-dollar app? Will you still want to consider DJing as a career?

These are all hypothetical scenarios, and for the moment human DJs are still the gold standard, but the one thing that’s true is that AI is here, and it’s going to change everything sooner or later.

That’s why we’d like to know from YOU: How do you think human DJs continue to edge out AI and software, as these technologies grow more powerful and gather more data about our musical tastes and preferences? How will DJing change because of it?

So, over to you. Share your thoughts with us below and let us know how living, breathing DJs can outpace AI and software.

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