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  1. “What is machine folk?”
    Music that springs from human and machine (Ai) partnership, played on traditional instruments as if such a thing has been done for centuries.
  2. “Why machine folk?”
    Why not?
  3. “I mean, why not play real traditional music?”
  4. “Do we really need to involve Ai in music?”
    No, in the same way that we don’t really need to involve pianos.
  5. “Why do you have a lower-case ‘i’ when you write ‘Ai”’?
    To highlight the fact that its “intelligence” is questionable.
  6. “Isn’t music robotic enough these days?”
    What’s wrong with “robotic”?
  7. “I mean, isn’t music supposed to come from the soul? Isn’t it an expression of our humanity? Aren’t the sentiments expressed supposed to touch us and make us empathize with the composer?”
    Who says those things?
  8. “Have you lost your soul?”
    Not that we are aware of; or, maybe yes? Let’s ask the machine to generate a tune about it.
  9. “Can we not technologically tamper with everything that is good and pure in this world?”
    Technological tampering is how musical instruments are created.
  10. “Are you working to replace human composers and musicians?”
    No. Humans are an essential part of machine folk, from the programming and training of the Ai, to the curation of the generated music and its performance in the real world on real instruments.
  11. “Won’t this technology lead to replacing human composers and musicians?”
    If something can be automated, it will be automated. Regardless if an Ai can compose music, humans will continue to compose.
  12. “Who owns these tunes?”
    The meaningfulness of this question is not clear when “[we have] decided as a society that it’s okay to not pay for music” (Holly Herndon).
  13. “How will this help traditional music?”
    Does traditional music need help?
  14. “OK. How will this harm traditional music?”
    Likely not one bit. These machines are just parlour tricks. But it is important to keep watch for unintended consequences.
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