In an exclusive conversation with Euronews Next, will.i.im talks AI, the future of creativity and his new AI-powered platform for creation “Co-Pilot”.
The epitome of the Renaissance Man, Will.I.M (born William Adams, Jr.), the prolific singer, songwriter, rapper, actor, producer, DJ, entrepreneur, and philanthropist, has added another feather to his cap: futurist.
And his latest endeavor is yet another proof of his visionary mindset.
The founder and core member of the Black Eyed Peas has launched FYI (short for Focus Your Idea), billed as “the first productivity tool designed to serve creatives first.”
FYI The app is designed to help with a wide range of creative tasks, including AI-powered “creative co-piloting”, chatting with collaborators and team members, sharing photos, videos, audio files and documents , as well as securing data. With the most advanced end-to-end encryption”.
Jonathan Mildenhall, former chief marketing officer of Airbnb and current CEO of TwentyFirstCenturyBrands, says he is particularly excited about the launch of FYI because its founding story is similar to that of Airbnb.
Airbnb founders Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia were inspired to create their home rental platform when they faced a sudden increase in the rent for their New York City apartment. To overcome the financial challenge, he decided to rent out his spare bedroom, generating an idea that would revolutionize the way people travel.
Similarly, faced with the limitations imposed by the pandemic and a lack of suitable tools for remote creative collaboration, Will decided to take matters into his own hands and embarked on a mission to find a solution – Answers for your information Was.
Products beyond necessity are “a gift to the world,” said Mildenhall, who is developing the brand strategy for FYI.
In the context of the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity, Euronews spoke to will.i.am about the possibilities and implications for the future of AI, music and creativity.
Camille Bello, Euronews: Will, who do you think will be using FYI?
Will.I.M: “So by the time FYI came into existence the creative community was working on six different tools. We were on WhatsApp. You need a Dropbox for WhatsApp to work. If your files were huge, you’d need WeTransfer. But if you can’t open it on whatsapp, you need to send that wetransfer to email, you need email, you need a calendar, and you need zoom and then a chatGPT.
So here are the seven things you need for creative people working remotely while the phone is on fire. FYI all you need is a tool called FYI.
The core ideal customer is hyper-creative, someone who is brainstorming, putting together teams or forming small teams. And with AI, small teams become large teams.
CB: FYI How is Chat different from other language models like GPT?
Will.I.M: “First get information about a messenger. It is a messenger with your file management and your digital asset management storage. [All] Connected to Messenger, because why should your conversations about your digital assets, the projects you’re working on be separate from your teams and your communication planning strategy?
So it is a messenger digital asset management file storage. It’s a calendar, a music organizer, and a generative AI for team flow.
It is a messenger from the point of view of project-based collaboration, project-based ideas and materialization with AI to help you.
CB: Tell us about the algorithm behind FYI.
Will.I.M: “I can tell you about the work we’re doing with IBM regarding the business of creativity.”
Right now, if you’re creative and you have an idea that you want to start, but you want to protect that idea before going ahead, reaching out to people, it’s impossible.
,[Especially] If you are from an inner city or some rural area or living in suburbs.
And likewise for your information – in collaboration with IBM and WatsonX – in the near future, you will be able to create a thread and prompt your FYI business agent to create an NDA to protect your idea…without this No matter how you find a lawyer or afford one to do the basic work – that is to protect and trade while you create.
First we’re starting with the basic NDA idea of security, IP security, and then we’ll go from there.
And we invite the creative community to come on the journey with us. The whole premise of the product is to champion creatives, support them and protect them and their IP and their data by issuing elliptic curve cryptography keys, which we’ve worked with IBM to make sure everything is secure . From soup to dry fruits.
CB: Amid the ongoing debate over the convergence of AI and music, and in response to a mock Drake track, trip-hop collective Massive Attack tweeted: “Is the discussion ‘Should AI reinvent music?’ Or is it a discussion of ‘why is contemporary music so homogenous and formulaic that it’s really easy to copy?’
CB: What is your opinion about this?
Will.I.M: “To be good at anything, it has to reference and copy something. And AI is already very good at copying paintings, illustrations, marketing plans, strategies… but it also creates.
I’ve heard amazing creations that AIs have created with music that sounds like something I would have written, that sounds like me, and some people will be convinced that I did it, that I sang it. And it wasn’t the fun of anything. It was something from the beginning. And it will keep getting better. How do I feel about it? I believe that there is a need to introduce rules based on essence and equality at the earliest.
I urge everyone who is working in the AI field, everyone who works in governance and regulation and setting up security protocols for people and humanity: essence and equality is important… people’s Equality, fighting for the essence of the people, protecting the people and their civil liberties and their community. This is what we should do. We are not saying rules to stifle innovation. We’re saying, I’m saying, rules for the people.”
CB: Do you think it’s a bit premature in the way we’re adopting artificial intelligence – before any real regulation is put in place that we can follow?
Will.I.M: “It is hard to say. It’s like saying that the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) was around when the automobile was invented. The fact is, no; It’s like saying that when the airplane was invented, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) already existed. The answer is no. But now that flights are back up, now that there are vehicles on the road, I think it’s time for the Department of Motor Vehicles and the FAA to make sure that people and the communities that they live in are safe.
CB: You come from a multicultural background. Are you worried about algorithmic bias?
Will.I.M: “The only way to deal with bias is by training people from different communities and different backgrounds on the data and writing algorithms. And I’ve been passionate about this topic for more than a decade. That’s why I have a school and a program in East Los Angeles, Boyle Heights, called ‘Todos los Mexicanos de mi barrio,’ and we teach them computer science, robotics, and programming so they can grow up to fill those jobs. The ones that need to be addressed are data, bias and algorithmic bias. This is my basic passion.
You can go out and make sure companies pay attention to these biases. Or you can go out there and work and adopt a school and encourage kids to go down that path.
And the people who are working in that area, it’s not that they’re malicious and they don’t want people of color to train the models. It’s established by school systems and zoning from the beginning because not every school has a computer science program, but every school has a basketball program or football program or soccer program, but there’s no engineering or algorithmic programming or data in every school, Training programs are essential in inner city, rural area, poverty stricken area, underdeveloped community, underserved community.
Is it the people who have created the model where they say, ‘mwahaha’, ‘we are not going’ ‘we don’t want to?’ No it isn’t, there are engineering flaws.
The world needs more engineers. Where is the engineer going to come from?
Now it’s engineering for engineering’s sake. There is now an algorithm we can engineer for that, but that still doesn’t address data bias, that still doesn’t address algorithmic bias. So the only correct way, as I said, to train people of color, black and brown people and women and trans and gay and LGBTQ plus models, is to write algorithms. This is the only way. I started 12 years ago with 65 kids. We now serve over 14,000 students in LA
I ran STEM programs in inner cities. Seems like something to do. Why? Because they are not doing it. And when you don’t have STEM programs in inner cities, you have data bias, algorithmic bias.
CB: Are you worried about a future in which machines will do all the creative and entertaining work and humans will only inspire the machines?
Will.I.M: “No, because I believe in the creativity, spontaneity, curiosity and competitiveness of humanity. I believe in him.
Just because calculators outperform mathematicians doesn’t mean people aren’t calculating. That doesn’t mean that people aren’t building structures and, you know, aren’t working with advanced mathematical models. People are still wondering. People are still trying to solve the problems. This is a wonderful tool. But this will not stop our innovative spirit, our ingenuity, our inventions.
Right now, in popular culture, the word is ‘innovation’. Nothing has been said or talked about for a long time about ‘invention’. This new renaissance is not an innovation, but a spark of new inventions. This next leap is like we’re going to invent things. Not just innovation.”