Duran Duran star Nick Rhodes says artificial intelligence is ‘new frontier’

16 December 2021, 22:34

Nick Rhodes
Nick Rhodes. Picture: PA

The band has partnered with an artificial intelligence artist called Huxley.

Duran Duran star Nick Rhodes has said artificial intelligence is the “new frontier”.

The renowned British new wave group have launched a non-fungible tokens (NFTs) collection in a world first collaboration with an artificial intelligence (AI) artist named Huxley.

The band had previously partnered with the team behind Huxley, using AI to create a music video for their single, Invisible, in a technological first.

Rhodes, who is part of the chart-topping group alongside Simon Le Bon, Roger Taylor and John Taylor, said: “This is the tip of the iceberg. It’s great to be first when you can, but honestly if we were 10th I would have still dived in just as quickly, because this is a new frontier.

“I have no doubt that AI will be used a lot more to start making music too. We see albums being made by new musicians in bedrooms rather than in big studios, and I love that.

“Great things have come out of that. Particularly with dance music. And so art, film, other areas will increase dramatically with AI. It will be very interesting to watch.”

Rhodes has said he was “fascinated” by the team of individuals who studied under neuroscientist Karl Friston and created Huxley.

“Huxley was fed the information, videos, photos, lyrics of the song, memes, references and off it went. And what it came up with was both extraordinary and beautiful.

“I think if I had gone to many a great modern artist and given them the remit to make this video we would never have got anything quite as unique, and so profound, artistically.

Duran Duran
Nick Rhodes, John Taylor, Roger Taylor and Simon le Bon of Duran Duran (Matt Crossick/PA)

“It’s easy for people to say it’s humans that are able to create masterpieces, but I think we know, we’re moving forward now, and it’s an exciting time because machines will dictate some of the things we do and help us with many more.

“We were all kind of shocked when we saw the output because, every night Huxley would work away making its artworks and in the morning I would receive something like 8,000 to 20,000 different images that it had created,” the 59-year-old said.

Duran Duran formed in Birmingham in 1978 and were one of the era’s biggest acts thanks to songs including Rio, Hungry Like The Wolf and The Reflex.

In 1997, they were the first band to sell a single digitally, releasing Electric Barbarella on the internet.

“Technology moves forward. I pushed the button on the world’s first download that was ever sold online, it was 1997.

“This is the tip of the iceberg.

“We worked with Capitol Records at that time, getting them to allow me to do it was a nightmare process. One guy at the company helped me make it happen in the end, but they didn’t want to do it. They were fighting the technology.

“They thought it would be terrible for the business. And then we saw what happened. But it was six years later that Apple launched iTunes after I pushed the button on that download.

“So the tech was there and it took even Apple six years to figure out what it was and get machinery in place. Look at how we consume music now,” Rhodes said.

The Duran Duran and Huxley Invisible Collection was launched on Thursday.

By Press Association

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