Art in the Cloud: AI & Music

September 13, 2019 | 5 minute read
Savita Raina
Director Product Marketing, Oracle Cloud
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AI uses data that comes from us — humans. In this episode, we invited singer and songwriter Jennifer Johns to sit down with Savita Raina, Director of Oracle Cloud Product Marketing, to learn about AI and how data plays a part. Watch the interview, and discover how it inspired Jennifer John’s latest music video for “Victorious”.



Savita’s Take:

Being a technologist and a technology marketer, my usual conversations are with technologists, business leaders and developers. However, my recent conversation with Jennifer Johns was a little different. Jennifer is an artist with multiple talents – a singer, a songwriter, and a producer.

When I met Jennifer Johns, I was taken away by not only her artistry and her friendly nature, bu­­­­t our entire conversation around emergence of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and its impact on communities, businesses, and individuals.

Our conversation started with the discussion around AI and Machine Learning (ML) and how these technologies are pervasive in our daily lives. As our conversation progressed, our discussion took a swift turn. It seemed as much as Jennifer was in awe of the technology, at the same time she was mortified by the idea that AI is going to take us over. She was also concerned about the fact that if AI is modeled around human intelligence, it is quite evident that AI will be subject to human bias given AI is shaped by the data we feed it.

In my opinion, the concerns that Jennifer raised about human bias, privacy and ethics are very valid and concerning; however, it is time for all of us to engage and be part of the conversation. No doubt, like any other tool if not used right, AI can cause harm—but there is lot more to it than the “dark side."

AI can be used to augment our intelligence, creativity, and productivity. Leveraging a wide amount of data, AI can help us drive human curiosity forward by supplementing intelligence that exceeds human ability and accuracy. AI is already adding value -- detecting deadly diseases before they become a challenge, precision agriculture for increase productivity and sustainable living, helping create new forms of art and music, accelerating wild life conservation, and more. This list is endless and grows on a daily basis as AI gets integrated in every walk of our lives.

Additionally, World Bee Project uses Oracle AI to better understand the decline in bee populations globally and devise innovative strategies to help farmers manage bee and pollinator habitats. Jennifer was intrigued by this project and how AI can better serve humanity.

In my opinion, to get to the next level of human evolution leveraging AI, it is vital for every one of us to get involved and be part of the conversation. Every individual, community, technologist and business alike need to participate and contribute to facilitate in making the next wave of human intelligence and growth. To get AI right, we humans will have to conform to ideals of fairness, equality, law, and ethics, along with designing tools that can make sure these very human principle are parts of our algorithms and AI development process.

Finally, Jennifer and I came to the same conclusion and our conversation continued. Jennifer went on to compile a beautiful song, inspired by the World Bee Project, to encourage people of all walks of life, especially the youth and future generations, to get involved to be part of the AI revolution and to help make this world a better place to live.

Be sure to check out Jennifer’s latest music video for “Victorious” and snippets of our conversation.



Jennifer’s Take:

When I met Savita at Oracle, I was shocked. She was so kind and down-to-earth. I was pleasantly surprised to speak with a woman of color who had a lens of cultural impact in her work in AI. She was clear and funny, but most importantly, she was dedicated to me understanding why AI is important for me to engage. A few questions into the interview and I found myself immediately aware that this experience was meant to teach me something far deeper about humanity and technology.   

We spoke candidly about how AI is developing and who was developing it. We talked about algorithms and machine learning. Then we discussed bias, and that is when the magnitude of this technology began to sink in.

She talked about how she understood being skeptical, but those who fear "the machine" generally stay away, or they are reactive. Those who are not afraid, engage it and make it work for them. In both cases, the machine is learning about what you "like," and giving you more of it, not because it understands the concept of "liking," but because it is aware of what you engage with regularly. So collectively, if we watch violence over and over again, it will share more violence with us. Because we humans, like the machine, create what we imagine, we can expect what more of what we are getting, because it is what we are giving.

As Savita continued to answer my questions about how we are already engaging AI, I began to feel this overwhelming joy and deep concern all at the same time. From my vantage point, I was coming to understand that AI is essentially a technological manifestation of our collective ideas that will soon know us so well it will help us better accomplish our desires. That is at once both exciting and frightening!

Savita said you can't be afraid of "the machine," you have to engage and train it. For example, because it is responding to my ideas, if I wanted to get different advertisement results on the websites I visit, I should investigate "better" ideas.  Maybe I should ask the machine about feeding my community better, or how to creates homes for all people. What are the ideas or habits that I want the machine to assume I "like" and give me more of? Remembering that the machine has no ability to understand "liking" or "good" or "better."  The machine is responding to time spent on an idea, just like us.  

Alongside these thoughts was Savita's wisdom on engaging and inputting better ideas to get better results. I could not help to feel the practical scientific and spiritual connection.  

I took my conversation with Savita and was inspired to share a bit of my music and creative process. I decided that I should take the opportunity as a means to inspire some better ideas. "I dream a world where all of us have all we need to thrive..." Enjoy!


To learn more about AI and Machine Learning (ML), visit Oracle's AI page

Savita Raina

Director Product Marketing, Oracle Cloud

Savita Raina, Director, Product Marketing at Oracle Cloud Infrastructure. She has broad experience across a multitude of enterprise software technologies, including data management, AI/ML, and cloud services across IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS. Prior to Oracle, she worked at SAP, Sybase, Proofpoint, and other technology companies. She holds an MBA from Santa Clara University and an MS in Electrical Engineering from the New Jersey Institute of Technology. She currently also serves as a board member at Conard House, a bay area non-profit organization.

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