The rise of AI means the future of both content and services is going to be in person

Covering culture, tech, luxury, travel, and media in 5 minutes, 3x a week


This realistic cat costume took a world class LA production company four weeks to make… in total secrecy (@21metgala / Twitter)

🔼 Apple’s brand new savings accounts. People put US$1b into them, in their first 4 days »» The newsletter's writer owns shares of Apple

🔽 Hollywood productions. 11,000 Writers Guild of America members are striking for the first time in 15 years »» More: How long it might last »»

💬 “You might see a one-pilot aircraft.” The president of Emirates says single pilot jets are possible, thanks to AI »»

🛫 Hyatt bought online hotel booking platform Mr & Mrs Smith »»

👗 181 insider images from the only 2 photographers allowed inside the Met Gala »» More: The theme of the night was “Karl Lagerfeld.” Actor Jared Leto complied, walking the red carpet in a hyper realistic, full body costume that looked like the late fashion designer’s pet cat »»

💎 Singapore’s 60% property tax for non-citizens is the highest in the world »»


Steelcase x Logitch’s “Project Ghost” video conference booth uses a teleprompter-esque mirror system to hide the camera, and make it feel like you’re making direct eye contact (Chris Welch / The Verge)

The future of gel manicures is here with Alûstre’s diamond dust polishes »»

3 charts that show how China's 'war on pollution' is working »»

AI can now take a recording of someone speaking English, and make that exact same voice speak other languages perfectly. Listen for yourself »»

9 revolutionary use cases of AutoGPT »»

A new app called Augie will turn uploaded text or narration into commercially licensable business videos, automatically »»

Why this successful climate writer quit journalism to become an electrician »»

Longevity evangelists are injecting people with experimental gene therapies. There are no guarantees—and no refunds »»

A new app called Oppflow wants to do all your content marketing, using AI, analytics, and collaboration »»

F1 wants to ban tire heaters—here’s why that’s a good idea »»

Meanwhile, F1’s US strategy is turning off some fans »»

AI experts are warning of looming catastrophes. When some of the smartest folks building a technology warn it could turn on humans and shred our institutions, it's worth listening »»

Adidas is bringing NFTs to “Confirmed,” the brand’s high end, members only e-commerce app »»

Coinbase opened a crypto derivatives exchange in Bermuda. US traders aren’t welcome »» The newsletter's writer owns shares of Coinbase

Australia’s banning “recreational vaping” and disposable vapes —and tightening other e-cigarette laws »»

Is the future of video calls a US$15,000 booth that uses hidden cameras and doesn’t allow screen sharing? »»

Snap announced that sponsored links are coming to their “My AI” chatbot »»

Education publishers are suffering »»

How to train your brain to increase your attention span »»

Wait, do we have to subscribe to restaurants now, too? »»


The rise of AI means the future of both content and services is going to be in person. Stardom is about to become super different, too

The real Drake, sitting on a lot money. Literally (@champagnepapi / Instagram)

“I WAS VERY surprised [at] how easy it was. Right out of the AI, it sounds pretty good. It sounds real”

If you’re on the socials these days, you’ve heard a certain type of music everywhere: really weird covers, like Drake covering singer-songwriter Colbie Caillat, Kanye covering Lana del Rey and Carly Rae Jepsen, or Joe Biden covering Ice Spice.

Or they’re two famous artists collaborating with one another, dropping new tracks that sound realistic, but also kind of unfinished, like the recent “Drake” and “The Weeknd” collab “Heart on My Sleeve.” Many of these songs have tens of millions of listens, or more.

Ordinarily, a big, viral hit is awesome news for artists and their label. But you know the story: unfortunately for Drake, The Weeknd, and Universal Music Group, all of these songs have actually been generated by amateurs using AI music making tools.

According to one creator, a college student in Florida, “it’s honestly kind of scary how easy these things are to do.”

Now what?

WHEN IT COMES to soundalikes, there’s actually no straightforward way for major labels or rights holders, or even the artists whose voices are being used, to get rid of these songs

As The Verge reminds us, the issue with labels trying to use copyright protection to remove these fake-AI-vocal tracks is that many of these new songs actually aren’t copying anything that’s clearly protected by law.

Even though they use “soundalike” AI voices, the compositions behind viral tracks like “Heart on My Sleeve” are actually new and original works. And “an artist’s voice, style, or flow is not protected by copyright (for the most part).”

It all led me to an intriguing conclusion:

THE FUTURE IS mobile blockchain AI in-person

Yep. In person, as in, what you and I can see with our own eyes, and hear with our own ears.

In this era where anyone can make anything, IRL events —things like concerts, trade shows, theme parks, or simply a professional meet up— are going to skyrocket in value. (As will services that have to be performed in person, by an actual human being. Physical goods might even become more valuable and attractive than they are now, too.)


Well, products and services that can be delivered digitally —like hit singles, legal analysis, or computer code— yeah, all that stuff is about to become so abundant, that they won’t be worth a thing.


This newsletter has written about how all sorts of economic goods are about to turn non-economic. (“Economic goods” is just fancy economics speak for “something you can sell.”)

The logic is pretty simple: when your average amateur + AI can make a passable pop song, and post it up on TikTok so the world can decide whether or not its good, record labels just aren’t going to be in a rush to pay new artists a lot of any money to make music.

But that same brutal logic is going to be applied to any field that delivers services digitally.

ONE LOGICAL RESULT from all this AI excitement is that more customers and audiences are going to assign more value to seeing the real life human do the thing in real life —whatever that thing may be

And the shift is going to happen on both sides of the transaction.

Stay with me.

The flood of AI-created content and services is not just going to increase the demand for in-person creation as buyers become more discerning or demanding… it’s also going to spark an increased supply of in-person providers as well.


I'm gonna go ahead and sayyy… money?

From the practitoner/provider/seller/artist’s point of view, if everyone can make everything using AI, then doing your thing in person is going to become the only way you can charge for it. Proving to your buyer that whatever it is they’re buying from you is done for real, by a real human will become an important distinction.

But stardom is about to become super different too.

REAL STARS ARE going to start covering fake songs

In a bizarre twist, watch real celebs begin to get asked to cover the fake songs that amateurs have made using their voice.

If that sounds like a breach of etiquette, or even basic manners, look around.

As this newsletter has written, mores are changing. And fast! The lines between the online and offline worlds are blurring, as are the lines between audience and performer.

TikTok-ers are DM-ing TV weather presenters, asking them to insert random phrases and lyrics into their nightly broadcasts… and the presenters are doing it! Concert audiences are throwing things at performers in order to spark a viral moment for online clout.

We’re in a weird new era. Long standing norms are melting away just as fast as barriers to production are.

OK, WHAT'S THE point?

As generative AI blurs the line between what's real and fake, we’ll all assign a premium to the stuff we can see and hear with our own eyes and ears.

Businesses that provide in person services, or have an in person component, may be the ones to watch or start.

OH, AND COMMERCIAL real estate might be an unexpected winner here, too

This newsletter has written about the grim outlook for commercial real estate landlords and investors. (The tl;dr is that office occupancies are never coming back to pre pandemic levels, which means a lot of landlords —who don’t typically own gigantic office buildings outright— won’t be able to make their loan payments, which means many lenders are currently at risk of their borrowers defaulting. Some commentators think this still-brewing and very fluid situation might end up being even worse than the 2008 global financial crisis.)

Is there a silver lining here for all these commercial landlords who've been left holding the bag, post pandemic?

Could all that surplus, un leaseable office space be retrofitted and rented out by the day or hour, for all sorts of temporary meetups —so buyers can actually see the people they’re hiring to do stuff, and sellers can prove the value of their services?

If that whole situation sounds weird, well, 100% remote companies, and 3 day-a-week office attendance as standard, would’ve sounded pretty weird pre pandemic too.

We’re living in interesting times.


Drake’s AI clone is here — and Drake might not be able to stop him »»

“Grimes is now open source and self-replicating” »»

The future of the traditional office space is unclear as vacancy rate hits record high, says National Association of Realtors »»

The commercial real estate market is wobbling, and 2 of the largest players are feeling the pain of higher rates and tighter credit »»

Trending AI hits »»

Written by Jon Kallus. Any feedback? Simply reply.

Join the conversation

or to participate.