Throughout history, products are made for one purpose and end up being something else entirely. Take the phone that never leaves your side, originally intended for the purpose of making phone calls.
Our mobile phones are now used to book travel, make payments, find the fastest route to any given point and catch up on the latest sports results. Ironically, the function my phone is used least for, is actual calls!
What I think we learn from all this, is that the very best ideas and technology will just happen. Artificial intelligence is probably the most fascinating I’ve ever witnessed – we’re not entirely sure exactly how it will impact us, but we all know it will, and very likely in a big way.
I’m sure you’ve seen the Facebook post about how AI will replace DJs by monitoring groups of people, looking for tapping feet, working out what to play next and providing everyone with the night of their lives. Who knows, it might even happen, but I’m sceptical that AI can carry a mobile DJ set in and out of venues and also do a good job of highlighting key moments or hyping up a crowd at the right time.
Yet we have had AI in the DJ world for some time. The most obvious one is the song match in your DJ software. The part of our job which takes the longest to learn is putting a playlist together – live. We do it by working out what’s going down well, playing a great track after a dance floor filler (don’t you hate it when you’re really grafting to get the floor filled and one particular track absolutely fills the floor and you have to think of something to follow it with?).
My own song predictor will come up with something useful once in a while, but for much of the time is hopeless at giving me actual useable tracks when I have a full dance floor. It seems to think that Ben E. King’s ‘Stand By Me’ goes with everything. Yet right now, there are music services which make automated suggestions to build playlists which are actually good.
This I think will be the single biggest change for us in the near future. When we look back at any prediction, we see that we are all pretty hopeless at making predictions. But this one I think is more obvious than being able to say, book a summer holiday on your phone!
In a seperate yet connected industry, photo booths, AI is making incredible headway. One popular AI tool has been the ‘Barbification’ of people using a booth. All very clever, but not nearly as massive as other ideas.
One new service currently taking America by storm is appearing in the UK for the very first time in September at Photo Booth Expo Europe. If you have a photo booth as part of your services, or are interested in learning more about them, then join us on 18th & 19th September in London, where you will see first-hand how AI is going to change the entertainment industry in a way I just didn’t see coming.
The full review can be found in Pro Mobile Issue 121, Page 6.