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Daft Punk and Being Human After All

Former member said AI concerns contributed in part to the band's breakup

Legendary electronic pop duo Daft Punk split ways two years ago after decades of collaboration and are esteemed as pioneers in the creative ways they infused their music with cutting edge sonic technology. However, in a recent interview, ex-member Thomas Bangalter said that artificial intelligence contributed in part to the band’s separation. Per a report from Futurism, Bangalter said,

We tried to use these machines to express something extremely moving that a machine cannot feel, but a human can. We were always on the side of humanity and not on the side of technology.

-NOOR AL-SIBAI, Daft Punk Says They Broke Up Partially Over Fear of AI (futurism.com)

The pop duo notoriously dressed up in robotic garb during their musical tenure together, and much of their music, like the ’90s house hit “Around the World” is heavily tinted with machine-like textures. However, Bangalter said the last thing he wanted to be in 2023 was “a robot,” noting how the increasingly blurred lines between the human and the machine is concerning him. A later hit song, “Human After All,” highlights their desire to retain a sense of human exceptionalism in a digitalized world.

Daft Punk isn’t the only voice in the arts worrying about the negative potential fallouts of the AI era. Other creatives in the visual arts, writing business, and music industry are raising the alarm over issues in copyright and plagiarism. With more tech companies brazenly embracing AI, such issues don’t seem to be going away any time soon. “I love technology as a tool [but] I’m somehow terrified of the nature of the relationship between the machines and ourselves,” Bangalter said.

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Daft Punk and Being Human After All