Daft Punk star shares concerns on AI and the obsolescence of man

Looks like Daft Punk was always on the side of humanity, not the machines. Sorry, robots, it’s time to hit the off switch.

Thomas Bangalter, one half of the iconic electronic duo Daft Punk, has shared his thoughts on the rise of artificial intelligence and why he doesn’t want to be a robot in today’s world.

Thomas Bangalter, one half of the legendary electronic duo Daft Punk, has shared his concerns around the rise of AI and its potential impact on humanity. In a rare interview with the BBC, Bangalter discussed his views on technology and its role in music creation, as well as its broader implications.

Daft Punk

Despite spending half his life portraying himself as a be-helmeted robot, Bangalter’s relationship with technology is more nuanced than meets the eye. He explained that Daft Punk’s embrace of the robot look was a “performance art installation that lasted for 20 years,” and that the duo used machines to express something that only humans could feel.

But when it comes to the rise of artificial intelligence, Bangalter’s concerns go beyond music. “2001: A Space Odyssey is maybe my favourite film and the way [Stanley] Kubrick presented it is so relevant today – because he is asking exactly the question that we have to ask ourselves about technology and the obsolescence of man,” he said.

Bangalter also revealed that, despite his love for the robot character, “the last thing I would want to be, in the world we live in, in 2023, is a robot.” He did not fully explain why Daft Punk broke up, but suggested that the band’s narrative was an important part of their project.

With a bit of distance from the band’s heyday, Bangalter is now shedding light on how Daft Punk operated, including behind-the-scenes tracks that will appear on the 10th anniversary reissue of Random Access Memories. “Daft Punk was a project that blurred the line between reality and fiction with these robot characters,” he said. “It was a very important point for me and Guy-Man[uel de Homem-Christo] to not spoil the narrative while it was happening.”

Bangalter’s cautionary attitude towards AI may seem at odds with Daft Punk’s music, but it’s clear that the duo’s use of technology was always in service of humanity. As we navigate the rise of artificial intelligence and its impact on our world, it’s worth considering Bangalter’s words and the questions he raises.