Peter Gabriel on artificial intelligence: “I don’t think my job or anyone’s job is safe from AI”

"This is something that's going have way more impact than the Industrial Revolution"

Peter Gabriel has opined on the growing prominence of artificial intelligence, noting that neither his nor anyone’s job is safe.

In a discussion with Yahoo! Music about his tech company Reverberation, Gabriel discussed the need to anticipate what AI technology could be capable of. “I’m probably just as scared [of AI] as everybody else, but I like to jump in the river rather than talk about it. … I do think about it quite a lot, and I think not enough people are thinking about it,” he said.

“And it would be great to get ahead [of it]. You know, this is something that’s going have way more impact than the Industrial Revolution and the nuclear bomb. So, if we don’t start anticipating what it might do, it’s going to be too late, because it’s very fast.”


Gabriel then turned to the topic of whether music generated by AI could ever have the emotional effect of songs written by human artists. “Most people argue no; I would say they just need better algorithms,” Gabriel said, adding that there will probably be algorithms for human spirit one day.

“So, we might as well just grab the algorithms and dance with them, rather than fight them. Unfortunately, I don’t think my job or anyone’s job is safe from AI,” he added.

“The way to look at it, though, is this amazing toolkit is just coming into our possession and we could do all sorts of extraordinary things, including perhaps – and I do say ‘perhaps’ – protecting our future.”

In February, Gabriel released a new song titled ‘The Court (Dark-Side Mix)’. The single was the second to be taken from his upcoming album ‘i/o’, and features contributions from Brian Eno as well as backing vocals from his daughter, Melanie Gabriel.

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