top of page

Black Mirror | Rachel, Jack and Ashley Too - Are AI Artists the Mainstream Artists of the Future?

Video Transcript

In comparison to previous seasons that seemed to tap into the future 20 years from now, the 5th season appeared to touch on topics a little more current and added a sci-fi theme on top of it.

Keeping that in mind, the 3rd episode of the 5th season, Rachel, Jack and Ashley too touched on the concerns of many current artists. And expresses how artistry in the entertainment industry is stifled, replaced and exchanged for pushed agendas and more opportunities to increase profits.

Without further ado, let's get into it

As the episode opens, we meet Rachel. A fifteen year old high school student that's a little shy and a little awkward. Her sister Jack is the stereotypical anti-nice person. Rude to her family members and overly cynical And dad, Kevin is an n, who spends the majority of his time trying to figure out how to create the perfect mouse trap

After briefly meeting Rachel's family, we meet Ashley O, as she's being interviewed. Ashley is a bubble gum-esk pop star that always adorns a lavender or light purple wig and a white costume - regardless of if she's performing on stage or promoting a product during her interview.

Lavender - a light shade of purple can represent being awake or spiritual awareness. It's also a color associated with royalty.

White is usually a representation of purity or innocence. It can also be associated with being naive - and can sometimes mean to be cold or sterile.

The lavender worn on Ashley O's head could represent an awareness, or an understanding of some sort. When she talks about writing, she references jotting her thoughts in something like a dream journal in an attempt record her purest subconcious thoughts and ideas.

The white she wears could represent the squeaky clean image she has to maintain. And like the negative side of white, she turns cold towards her commercial music, wanting to focus on lyrics with meanings and a message.

Her aunt Catherine is her care-taker and manager. In charge of making sure all expenses are paid and ensuring that Ashley keeps her squeaky clean image.

After the brief initial meetings of each set of relationships, we learn more about the family dynamics.

Going back to Ashley, we see the dynamics between her and her aunt away from the stage. Ashley wants to write music with substance and feeling and her aunt disapproves. Because you see it's more about the money than the music itself.

To repress Ashley's creativity Catherine attempts to keep her medicated to curb her desire to write the kind of music she wants to write.

After discovering that Ashley is not taking her medication and writing different types of music, Catherine and her team devise a plan to figure out a new way to get what they want out of Ashley.

After purposely over-medicating Ashley and causing her to overdose, Catherine and her team manage to extract Ashely ideas from her subconscious and upload it into a program where the data could be manipulated and transformed to create new songs.

Initially, when deciding to do this video, I was going to talk about the conscious mind and how memories can be extracted and how those memories or ideas can be read and replayed thanks to research through programs like the BRAIN Initiative...

But instead, I want to explore [Music] it possible? Are we ready for it? Could AI become the New Mainstream?

As of today, the technology that's available to the public still needs a level of human input, even if minimal. But the amount of technological growth has been exponential and the possibility of seeing an AI character over a human one is no longer out of reach or reason.

In my video...from Maria to Sophia, I touched a little on the celebration of the female robot via many music artists with Megan and Cardi joining the line-up during the 2021 Grammy's

Society has been primed to accept the artificial as a spokesperson. I'm guilty of this myself.

We use images and representations of ourselves and have been doing it for hundreds of years. First as statues and replicas and now in a digital form. As the generations progress, and become more familiar with seeing generated faces along with human ones, the ability to transition focus from human to synthetic and AI artists is becoming increasingly seamless.

Humans can imagine and create music pulling ideas from external and internal inspirations. But could this be duplicated by something artificial, without conscious thought to draw from on it's own? It is possible, but as of today, these programs aren't designed to replace the artist, but to instead enhance creativity by lending new ideas and perspectives that may not have been thought of before.


As stated earlier, the AI we know today is not sentient. It's not aware or awake, but what it can do is expound on what's already been created.

A program like Jukebox uses these patterns and data from the artist, the sound of their voice, cadence, inflections and one sentence of lyrics, to create an entirely new song.


Today, the generated lyrics are not great, they can be kinda bad actually, but as more data is obtained and the AI becomes better at doing it's job, there could be a day when music is completely written by a non-human.

The Human voice has tones and nuances that are unique to each individual. Unlike the human voice, generated voices sound more digital, monotone and less intimate.

But developers are working towards making the artificial voice sound more human...

This voice-acting service allows users to create voice-over recordings from more than sixty different voices. Already more than 170K people use this service, which provides convenience for individual content creators and small business owners who want to make video content. As there is no need to hire a voice-actor or book a studio.

Our technology is to generate the speech from given tasks with certain emotional status or...we can also control the tone of the speech and...also the rhythm of the speech.

The CEO added that he aims to allow anyone making their own content, to be able to use artificial voice actors in the near future.

BAE Eun-ji, Arirang news.

The look of the artist would probably be one of the easiest things to create for the AI artist -to the type of look this character will portray.

The site ThisPersonDoesNotExist generates random images using a generative adversarial network or a GAN. Some images come of freaky looking with 3 eyes to two faces melded together (which I'm not showing cause it freaks me out too...check out the site) but for the most part, the GAN creates a human image that looks Almost completely human. Heavy emphasis on almost.

Tools like motion capture or Mocap for short, are already being used for video games and in films when a stunt is too dangerous or literally impossible for a human to perform, but attempting to create human movement without a human is still in development.

We currently have deep fakes and the progression of robotics that also requires human input, but developments are advanced enough now that an artist could be created using data that already exists.

So, deepfakes came out around late 2017 but, the idea or the task of creating a digital human, has existed in visual effects for a while.

What are the positive applications of a deepfake type thing?

There isn't much of...positive applications in my point of view, but I think...but the core technology itself, which is...deep generative models...technologies that can generate imageries is a fundamental component for many applications that I think is important.

Even with all of this being said, it still leaves the question: "Could AI artists become mainstream and actually contend with human artists?"

Three AI artists already have fan bases and contrary to what some may believe are new technologies, a couple of these artists have been around for years. By the looks of it, they may be pioneers of the new type of recording artist.

This is Hatsune Miku, Japan's sensational, virtual pop star. She's released over a 100K songs in multiple languages and performed sold out concerts around the world.

"...[intelligible]Hatsune Miku...Carlos..."

She's Lady Gaga's favorite digital pop star and opened shows for her in the US three years ago.


As appearance altering methods advance, we're starting to see a shift in the human appearance.

I'm not saying it's a good or bad thing, I'm just saying it's a thing that plays a part in what may become a norm in mainstream society.

Based on the exponential growth of technology, the integration of animated, CGI and human mediums and the problematic elements of social media, including cyber bullying and cancel culture and even deepfakes. It could simply be easier and cheaper to promote spokespersons that can work 24 hours a day without pay.

And once these systems have enough input like the sounds of our voices, images, videos and how we interact via social platforms. It seems that it would be much easier to create a synthetic being that a human can relate to. Ones that follows commands without question and will fight to keep the prime directive. [claps]

The irony of Rachel, Jack and Ashley Too is that, it wasn't really ahead of it's time. It just reflected projects that aren't necessarily reported on, at least via mainstream mediums.

In the future, we may not honestly know what's real or false. We already have deepfakes and vlogging and once systems are created to make these things seamless, it may be very difficult to tell whether you're watching a real person or an artificially intelligent creation. And as society becomes more familiar with artificial interactions, even with humans, there may possibly be a point when no one cares one way or the other.

As of today, Artistry still needs humans. But love it or hate it, AI could one day become mainstream.

If you want to watch this episode, it's currently available on Netflix and Prime Video.

If you want to visit any of the channels mentioned in this video - links will be in the description box.


and on that note, have an awesome day...Peace.




ABC Nightline News

Bloomberg Markets and Finance

Morphe x Nikita Campaign

Jason Ebeyer


Virtual-World-TV (Deviant Art)

Jukedeck (Soundcloud) Jukebox

Unreal Engine -

Boston Dynamics -

Arirang News -

Versace/H&M Crypton

Future Media/Jared Wolf

Caroline Chan Channel (Everybody dance now)

**Kasoku Sato - Hatsune Miku Image** - missed adding name in credits

Research Sources;


Arirang News

Composed by AIVA for NVIDIA

"I am AI"

First Album Completely Produced by AI |The Future of Music: A Collaboration Between Humans and AI

Art by Jason Ebeyer [H+ Creative Representative]

bottom of page