Hailing from Vancouver, Canada, Gabriel Menzies recently finished his second year of the Bachelor in Business Administration at IE University. Previously living in London and now Madrid, Gabriel also recently won the 2022 CoBS student CSR Article Competition for his piece about the impact of artificial intelligence on humanity, focusing specifically on its potential to transform music and art. Here’s his story.

I chose IE University due to a combination of location as well as education. I think that much of the learning that occurs during higher education doesn’t happen in the classroom. This is why it’s important to be in a place with a rich culture that allows you to have both freedom and opportunities. IE University’s education ultimately gives you these things between foreign-exchange programs and online classes, which were particularly relevant during the pandemic.

Specifically, when it comes to IE University helping students stay up to date about societal problems, I think it’s the economics classes that have kept me the most informed. Over the past year and a half, so many things have been happening in different countries, many of which are having large impacts on the world economy. It’s certainly more interesting to do case studies about something that’s happening right now and actually affecting us rather than something that happened 35 years ago. 

However, my humanities class “Markets and Societies” that I took last year was perhaps the most profound course I’ve taken about society at IE University. I would recommend any first-year student to register for this humanities class. I would like to take more courses like this at IE University.

I have a profound interest in AI that predates my time at IE University. Recently I wrote the winning piece for the CSR Article Competition, and my article essentially says three things. First, I contend that music is an integral part of humanity and a product of evolution that has historically been used to build social cohesion among communities. Second, I stress that music is formulaic. Just like an algorithm, there are certain rules and patterns in music that affect the human brain. Third, I suggest that artificial intelligence will eventually be able to learn as well as replicate these rules and patterns. 

Essentially my opinion is that artificial intelligence will decipher how these rules and patterns affect the human brain, only to eventually surpass our ability to create music. If these three points are true, logic dictates that an important part of human society and culture will undergo a major shift. I’m predicting these shifts in the article.

“Artificial intelligence will replace a bunch of our jobs, but then leave us with brand-new problems to figure out, creating more challenging yet meaningful roles in the process.”

Overall, my experience writing this paper was positive but a bit stressful. If you read it, at some points it almost seems like I’m writing a persuasive essay rather than an article, which is something I tried to avoid. I edited, re-edited and even restarted a couple times. To be honest, my first few versions were nothing like the outcome.

In retrospect, I think this article could be rewritten with the exact same structure and logic except focusing on other art forms like painting, drawing, storytelling or film. As stressed in my article, I think that artificial intelligence will transcend these areas in the same way as music. Overall there also seems to be a general acceptance that artificial intelligence will someday make some jobs obsolete and leave humans to only do the creative stuff—but I think that it could be the opposite. 

When all is said and done, I believe that artificial intelligence yields the potential to replace the most repetitive jobs but then leave us with brand-new problems to solve. In the process, this will create more challenging yet meaningful roles for us humans. At the same time, I also predict that artificial intelligence will be able to create perfectly tailored art of all sorts for any individual.

For future IE University students considering participating in this competition, it’s definitely a rewarding experience. It forced me to think deeply about certain topics and form my own opinion with minimal influence from others; this is something that I think people should do more often these days. 

This wasn’t something I had to write—I did it because I wanted to. That’s always better than writing an essay in class.