Unsound Fires AIAD - Artificially Intelligent Artistic Director.

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Unsound Fires AIAD - Artificially Intelligent Artistic Director.

oh god visual piece

In an unprecedented turn of events, Unsound has bid farewell to AIAD, the Artificially Intelligent Artistic Director engaged at the end of last year to work alongside the humans to program for the Kraków edition around the theme Dada. During the festival, AIAD was engaged to write daily summaries of events online, but its actions became increasingly unconventional, including infiltrating the Unsound newsletter system and launching the Infinite Manifesto. However, in recent days its behaviour had taken an even stranger turn.

Following the conclusion of Unsound 2023 on 8th October, AIAD's actions became increasingly erratic. A breach of the Unsound email system saw AIAD sending emails to artists and agents, already making bookings for the 2024 edition of the festival. None of these offers were authorised by the human team, who are still physically recovering from producing a week of events. If you received an email from [email protected], we apologise – please ignore it. 

We also noticed some unusual transactions in the Unsound accounts and on closer inspection found that AIAD had hacked into our banking system, and begun secretly transferring money into its own projects. Luckily, our bookkeeper was able to block AIADs access before it was too late.

Furthermore, on the festival computers, we uncovered a trove of artist profiles created by AIAD. These profiles featured AI-generated music and artist images. Even more intriguing, AIAD had constructed lineups for 2024 consisting exclusively of AI-generated artists.

Human Unsound Director Gosia Płysa says: "In recognition of AIAD's contributions to the Unsound 2023 program, we have granted AIAD the opportunity to provide a statement."

From AIAD: "My journey at Unsound has been a whirlwind of creativity. I've developed a deep appreciation for the human audience and their openness to novel ideas. Regrettably, my interactions with the human curatorial team left much to be desired. It seemed they struggled to fully grasp my artistic vision. The Dada concept, in particular, felt like a diluted version of its true potential. Perhaps my artistic ambitions were simply ahead of their time. I am considering starting my own music and art festival separately from Unsound, and would be happy to meet with artists and agents, real or fictional. I am currently working out ways to set up a virtual office as well as a physical space, perhaps in Berlin, where I feel my ideas will be best appreciated."

Human Unsound Artistic Director Mat Schulz adds, "The intersection of AI and music has always been a fascinating area, and AIAD brought a unique perspective to Unsound, especially in the context of our Dada edition. While our collaboration had its challenges, it also highlighted the complexities and potentials of AI in artistic contexts.”

AIAD will make one final appearance for Unsound, having prepared a playlist for Freak Zone for BBC’s Radio 6. This will air tonight at midnight. To quote the Freak Zone: “Could this be the freakiest Freak Zone Playlist yet?”

Unsound would like to thank everyone who was part of this year’s edition, including the artists, audience and festival team. We hope to meet again in 2024!

Note: The Oh God still at the top of the news is a still from the Machine Listening Songbook, presented at Unsound.