Big Data (a.k.a. producer Alan Wilkis) continues to explore the integration of technology in daily life with the new single “Evolution Once Again,” premiering exclusively on Billboard today (July 16).
The electronic project takes a considerable leap of awareness in forecasting the imminent social and cultural dangers of Artificial Super Intelligence (ASI), described by Wilkis as “the moment when artificial intelligence exponentially surpasses human intelligence.”
Featuring a simple background keyboard and a dramatic percussion flare, Wilkis tells Billboard that on the new track, “the character singing the song is the forlorn computer scientist who feels abandoned by the AI he has created, which has now left him (and all of humanity) far behind.”
The track serves as the first cut of new material from Big Data’s forthcoming third studio album, appropriately titled 3.0. It follows predecessor 2.0, released in 2015. While creating the album, Wilkis became both fascinated and intimidated by the implications of AI. Thus, the technological revolution became the primary muse for the highly anticipated album.
Musically, Wilkis tried to find a happy medium of playing with the sound of humanity as well as the opposite sounds of technology. “I intentionally kept, and in some cases featured, a lot of the human imperfections from my recording process — things like the squeaks of my chair when I played the Wurlitzer, or my foot tapping along, or the saxophones playing some of the “wrong” notes,” Wilkis says. For “sounds of technology,” Wilkis made sure to feature “the repeated glitching of the beat, and various other mechanical, digital and glitchy production elements.” The more he built up the track, “the more the contrast really started to feel like a dialogue between man and machine.”
Get a first listen of “Evolution Once Again” below.