The future of music

will.i.am introduces an AI-powered radio show

February 6, 2024
will.i.am
Photo Credit: Jamie McCarthy

Key takeaways

  • will.i.am launches ‘will.i.am Presents the FYI Show,’ an innovative AI co-hosted radio show blending music, technology, and pop culture.
  • FYI app, created by will.i.am and acting as the co-host of the show, empowers creatives with AI, fostering collaboration and innovation in a centralized ecosystem.
  • Despite embracing AI’s potential, will.i.am highlights the importance of discerning AI’s limitations and the need for regulatory oversight.

In January 2024, music artist and tech entrepreneur will.i.am launched his first-ever exclusive radio show named “will.i.am Presents the FYI Show” on SiriusXM.

The show stands out not because it features will.i.am as the host but because of its AI-powered co-host. Together, they aim to explore the forefront of AI innovations and interactive projects, diving into topics like music, pop culture, technology, and more with lively discussions, games, new music, and interviews.

Teaser of will.i.am’s “Presents the FYI Show” on SiriusXM

The first episode dives into how technology, sound, and automobiles intertwine, featuring rapper Xzibit, known for hosting MTV’s “Pimp My Ride” from 2004 to 2007.

For future episodes, the show promises exciting content with the likes of Harvey Mason jr., the Grammys CEO and a renowned music producer who recently made news when the Recording Academy introduced new guidelines for music created using artificial intelligence.

If you’re based in the US, you can listen to the show on The 10s Spot (Ch. 11) on the SiriusXM app and car radios.

The idea behind creating this innovative radio show

In a conversation with The Hollywood Reporter, will.i.am shared his vision for the show, stating, “I didn’t want to just do a traditional show, I wanted to bring tomorrow close to today, and so I wanted to have my co-host be an AI.” He described himself as “extremely vibrant and expressive,” in contrast to qd.pi, the AI co-host, whom he described as “highly factual and analytical.” This blend, according to will.i.am, is unprecedented in broadcast history.

Qd.pi contributed to the discussion, highlighting the distinctive value it adds: “My ability to quickly access and process information is definitely one of the unique advantages that I bring to the show.” This capability is particularly beneficial in live discussions and sets the co-host apart from traditional hosts, who require extensive research and preparation.

Qd.pi further explained, “you can just dive right into the conversation and explore whatever topics come up organically, knowing that I’ll have the information and context to support the discussion.” This will surely make for an entertaining listening experience for the audience.

FYI, the app fueling will.i.am’s AI co-host

FYI is the app that powers will.i.am’s AI co-host. As the Founder and CEO, will.i.am described the app in an interview with Variety as a platform that empowers creators to harness AI for collaboration, networking, and bringing their ideas to life in one centralized place. It stands out as a cutting-edge Web 3.0 AI messenger designed for creative minds.

will.i.am introduces an AI-powered radio show 1

At its core, FYI offers a single space for users to store extensive data and serves as a creative hub. While AI is transforming the job landscape, potentially making some roles redundant, it is also paving the way for new industries, companies, and innovations. FYI aims to foster an ecosystem and community that nurtures future ideas.

will.i.am articulates his vision for FYI, emphasizing its role in streamlining the creative process: “I envision FYI as a tool that enables creatives to organize, collaborate, and communicate seamlessly in one unified space, rather than juggling across multiple platforms. Integrating AI at the heart of FYI enhances creative and strategic collaboration within teams.”

FYI, which stands for “Focus Your Ideas,” is marketed as a comprehensive productivity tool aimed at supporting the creative community and beyond. The app boasts a range of features that facilitate creative projects, including:

  • Organizing creative projects
  • Generating content with the aid of an AI assistant
  • Communicating with collaborators and team members through chat
  • Sharing multimedia files and documents
  • Conducting and receiving video calls with content sharing
  • Scheduling with an integrated FYI calendar
  • Ensuring data security with advanced encryption
  • Presenting work in visually appealing, interactive formats

All these functionalities are consolidated into one versatile application, making it a powerful ally for creatives.

will.i.am’s groundbreaking collaboration with Mercedes

Besides FYI, will.i.am has ventured into another AI project called Sound Drive. This innovative app is transforming the way music is experienced during car rides. Integrated into Mercedes-Benz’s electric EQ models, Sound Drive allows the music to intelligently adapt to the driver’s actions.

This initiative is yet another testament to will.i.am’s dedication to exploring the intersections of AI, music, and human interaction.

will.i.am recognizes AI’s drawbacks

Recognizing the current limitations of AI technology, the GRAMMY Award-winning artist highlighted a few critical concerns about AI in a recent interview at the World Economic Forum in Davos. One significant issue he pointed out is the ease with which AI can blur the line between humans and machines.

He shared insights on his AI co-host’s training, which includes a vast array of global information, both contemporary and historical. will.i.am is intrigued by the AI’s ability to simulate human-like responses, yet he emphasizes the importance of discerning whether one is interacting with a person or a machine.

Furthermore, he points out a significant concern regarding the regulation of AI. He notes that, unlike other industries where regulations and certifications are mandatory for operation, the deployment of AI systems lacks similar oversight.

will.i.am in an interview at the World Economic Forum in Davos 2024

When will.i.am. predicted the future

will.i.am has long been a supporter of AI, often calling it a “new renaissance.” He shared this view on ITV’s Good Morning Britain in the summer of 2023. However, his predictions about AI started much earlier.

Back in 2010, in the Black Eyed Peas music video ‘Imma Be Rocking That Body’, will.i.am showcased a small device, claiming it would be capable of singing, producing music, and performing tasks with simple lyric input, much to Fergie’s annoyance.

This early vision of AI in music has proven to be quite insightful, given the current advancements in consumer AI technology. With will.i.am continuously pushing the boundaries, it’s exciting to think about his future contributions to AI and its impact on the music industry.

Sabrina Bonini

Sabrina Bonini is a content specialist, writer, and educator focused on Web3 and entrepreneurship. She started her career as an audio engineer and musician, and has been passionate about the intersection of music and cutting-edge technology since then.

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