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This year's Most Wanted: Music will take place from 14 - 16 November - and the motto is: "Humanize". What is it about? What is the focus of the program and what does "Humanize" mean in terms of music production and marketing? We spoke to Stephan Hengst, Director of Most Wanted, and Eva Kiltz, Program Director.
CCB Magazine: Eva and Stephan, war is raging in Ukraine and the Middle East, there are currently calls for more arms deliveries in many places - in the midst of all this, you are calling for Most Wanted: Music under the motto "Humanize". Is the title to be understood as a deliberate counter-concept to the current world situation?
Stephan Hengst:Not really, at least not in the form described - although we are not unconcerned by what is happening and in the past we have given people from Ukraine - and artists in particular - the opportunity to perform at our events. For us, the term is initially aimed at the advancing use of artificial intelligence in the music industry and the associated interactions of human creativity.
CCB Magazine:And what does Humanize mean in this context?
Stephan Hengst:We are interested in three central things, firstly the connection between Work and Life: what new technologies and methods are music companies and music professionals using to develop innovative ways of working? And which of these have already proven useful? Here we present successful players and examples of best practice. Secondly: Creation and Business. How can fairness be placed at the center of creative collaboration - and what can we do to accelerate the processes? Here, too, we present ideas and suggestions. Thirdly: Tech and Tools. Which tools place the economic, cultural and social aspects of human creativity at the center of their services? What changes when new technologies are consistently geared towards human needs? And we say to all three areas: Let's combine our values, hopes and goals with our creativity, curiosity and community and put the best version of humanity at the center of everything we do! - wherever we develop, experience or use technology.
CCB Magazine:One warning is that we are not only gaining autonomy in the wake of AI and automation, but are also giving it up because we are being guided by technology.
Stephan Hengst:I don't want to dispute that at all, and we are trying to explore this area of tension between opportunities and risks at Most Wanted, although we are concentrating more on the opportunities and presenting appropriate tools etc. for this purpose.
Eva Kiltz: Our focus and topics this time include the latest platform formats, AI tools for marketing purposes and new professional and occupational areas in the music industry
CCB Magazine:So why don't you give us an overview of the program? What should we definitely not miss this year?
Eva Kiltz:Ideally nothing at all, because all the focal points and topics are exciting in their own right - for example, we will be presenting the latest platform formats such as YOUniverse Berlin, which brings fans and musicians together, or Music C•A•R•E•S, which can be used to calculate CO2 savings and other emissions. In another workshop, we discuss the question of how and which AI tools are suitable for marketing purposes - or we analyze today's music fields as an economic factor, present new professions and fields of activity and examine Berlin as a location.
CCB Magazine:One focus will be on the connection between ethics and AI. Renowned tech experts Byrke Lou, Joost de Boo, Koto Murai and Jay Ahern will talk about the latest ways in which entrepreneurs and musicians can generate more income with the help of AI. What measures are meant here? What should change - and how?
Eva Kiltz:We honestly expect these answers from the invited experts. However, the background is that the European Parliament will pass its first AI law this year, but we will still have to wait a long time for a reliable legal framework in the field of AI - while we are already using the technologies. A market is already developing rapidly that is still very open and can be shaped. This in turn offers a classic field of activity for creative entrepreneurs and artists. With our guests, who are all intensively involved with AI and music, we would therefore like to explore the question of where they see such scope for creativity and how they use it for themselves.
Stephan Hengst: We need to get young people excited about working in the music industry again. After all, the shortage of skilled workers does not stop at the music industry and the formerly 'cool' labels, publishers and agencies are desperately looking for good staff
CCB Magazine:You've already mentioned above that the music industry is currently developing in two directions - on the one hand, topics such as sustainability are gaining dominance, while on the other, AI is playing an increasingly important role with unforeseeable consequences for jobs and music production. How can sustainability and digitalization be combined, i.e. humanized, so that in the end not a few but as many as possible benefit?
Stephan Hengst:I think it's about two things: firstly, in terms of ecology, users need to ensure that energy-intensive technologies are used as sparingly as possible - for example, it is already common practice today to switch off video transmission during video conferences if it's not absolutely necessary. LED lighting is also used almost exclusively in the event sector in order to be as economical as possible. This means that we need to embed new sustainable standards into existing structures and jobs, and this also means that the use of green electricity should be standard. The second aspect, digitalization, should in turn have an impact on sustainability, and the use of renewable energy for the large data centers where cloud-based platforms store their data is particularly important in this regard. Although this still does not resolve the question of remuneration, this is precisely the kind of issue we want to discuss this year.
CCB Magazine:One point of criticism is that not only will new jobs be created in the course of AI and mechanization, but many will disappear - and artists in particular will earn too little due to digitalization in the streaming sector. Last year, the music industry in Germany broke the €2 billion mark for the first time in 20 years thanks to sales of CDs, vinyl and streaming revenues - a total of €2.07 billion was generated. What are the biggest problems currently facing the music industry? Where are the opportunities and the greatest potential?
Stephan Hengst:Firstly, we need to get young people excited about working in the music industry again. After all, the shortage of skilled workers does not stop at the music industry and the formerly 'cool' labels, publishers and agencies etc. are now desperately looking for new and, above all, good staff. Secondly, in addition to the question of pay, we need to keep an eye on the health of employees and musicians. Today, it's often a great burden for artists to be permanently present on social media and to constantly produce new content. In addition to the traditional demands of the touring business, for example, this unfortunately often has negative psychological effects. This is why mental health is always an important topic at Most Wanted: Music - and this year is no exception.
CCB Magazine:What is your long-term goal? What should an event like Most Wanted bring to the music industry, but also to a city like Berlin?
Stephan Hengst:Quite a lot. We want to attract more participants from year to year, because an industry event like Most Wanted: Music is like a big contact exchange - which is why we would like to see even more visitors from abroad. We are also lucky to be able to cover more travel costs for international speakers this year thanks to funding from the state of Berlin. With Most Wanted, we always want to reflect the spirit of the times, anticipate the latest developments and bring them to the city - that has been our goal in recent years and will remain so in the future.
Category: Innovation & Vision
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