Will AI take away audio-editing jobs?

AI-powered audio tools continue to emerge. They promised to streamline and automate various aspects of content creation BUT will these technologies ultimately take away jobs from audio editors? The answer might surprise you...

Will AI take away audio-editing jobs?
Photo by Avel Chuklanov / Unsplash

Of course, the answer is yes.

But, only eventually.

Let me explain.

Most of the AI-based audio tools that are being created today are trying too hard to replace existing workers. I personally believe that is the wrong approach to take.

See, when the printing press was created, it didn't replace writers. It replaced the effort of writing the same thing over and over again. Photoshop was created, it didn't try to replace the artist. It replaced the artist's tools.

And that's the issue with some of these wonderful AI tools in #audio, such as Descript, Adobe Podcast Studio, and such. Or even Adobe Enhance, Resound, Xound, Auphonic etc.

"This AI takes over all your podcast editing!"
"This AI will edit your podcasts in 30 seconds!"
"This AI cleans noise in under a minute!"
"This AI writes and composes an entire song - music AND lyrics!"

Except the output isn't 100% perfect, so you end up going back to try and patch the bits that the AI missed. And, what would have taken you 30 minutes, now takes 60 minutes, maybe 90.

Instead of reducing work, the AI now ends up ADDING to it.

Because you now have to take the AI-provided output, deconstruct it, bring it into the editor of your choice, *cough* Reaper *cough* make the necessary edits, ensure it matches with the rest of the audio, master it, and finally re-render.

It would have been much simpler if the output from these audio-editors were given to me as a session file for the editor of my choice. Or as a simple VST plugin with several knobs and dials to tweak inputs and weights. But, no, these insist on delivering the final product.

Because they want to go straight to the content-creator.
Because they want to reduce the content-creator's reliance on editors.
Because they think they are competing with editors.

But, you know who's using and paying for those tools the most?


All these AI tools are focusing on the wrong customer. They are trying to eliminate the VERY people who would be willing to pay for the features they are building. And to all of them I only have ONE thing to say:

Pivot now, if you want to survive in the long-term.

Look at your customers. Look at who is paying for it. Look at who is using your product. Look at how they are using it.

The ONLY question that should matter when designing an AI tool is:

"Does it help speed up a task in your customer's workflow?"

...because that is the only question that the customer is asking when evaluating anything for purchase.

This work is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 - begone AI bots!