Grimes has said some very Grimes things about AI and the future of the universe

“The universe is empty and quiet and it wants to be woken up and filled with beautiful things”


Grimes has spoken about what she thinks is the future of the universe and how artificial intelligence could contribute to that in a new PBS documentary. 

The docuseries A Brief History Of The Future asks what’s in store for our planet – and further afield – with the help of experts and celebrity guests. The latest episode focuses on AI and saw Grimes appear in a segment, described as someone at “the forefront” of the technology’s presence in music. 

The musician began her segment talking about purpose, recalling a recent Twitter poll she held asking if her followers felt they had any in their lives. “It was like 70 per cent of people said ‘no’ or something,” she said. “If there was ever a moment to have a feeling of purpose, I think it would be now. What we do and the things we create over the next few decades will probably shape all minds going forward for the rest of time. If there was ever a time to have purpose, it’s really right now.” 


Continuing to speak about AI in music, Grimes described it as providing “a beautiful amount of opportunity”. “When I started making music, there was this revolution happening in music production,” she explained. 

“More people were being able to make music at home on their computers and I think there was a massive democratisation of who was allowed to make music that I took huge advantage of that was fully the by-product of technology. I think this is about to extend to all of art. When I see some of the new stuff coming with AI, like video-to-video and text-to-video and all this stuff that’s about to explode, I think it’s so beautiful. When everyone has the same tools that can make professional quality stuff, then you get to see the actual talent really rise to the top.” 

Her portion of the episode concluded with a brief discussion about the sacredness of consciousness and how she sees the universe moving forward from this point in time. “I think because we’re all alive, we take it for granted that I can think and I have agency and I can feel,” Grimes began. “If we’re really alone in the universe, which it seems like, the thing that’s happening here right now is, like, literally God or something. This is the universe waking up and perceiving itself. The single most important thing is to make sure that this spark that exists here on planet Earth gets to be elsewhere. 

“I don’t really care if it’s biological life or digital life or something like that. I’m really a proponent of keeping the humans alive, but if it’s silicon-based life that goes out there, I think that’s just as good. I think the universe is empty and quiet, and it wants to be woken up and filled with beautiful things.” Watch Grimes’ segment around the 32-minute mark above.

In the past, Grimes has encouraged fans to use AI-generated versions of her voice to make songs, dubbed Elf.Tech. She has also collaborated with tech company Endel on AI Lullaby, a soundscape that adapts to where you are, the weather, and how much natural light is around you.