June 28, 2024

Leveraging Technology to Preserve Creativity with Wondr Search's Justin Kilb

As generative AI continues to scale, the likelihood of computer-generated content outpacing human creation increases. Today, we explore how evolutionary generative algorithms in music production can preserve and enhance human creativity rather than overshadow it. Joining us is Justin Kilb, a data scientist and PhD student who serves as an AI technical advisor to Fortune 500 companies.

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In this episode of How AI Happens, Justin explains how his project, Wondr Search, injects creativity into AI in a way that doesn’t alienate creators. You’ll learn how this new form of AI uses evolutionary algorithms (EAs) and differential evolution (DE) to generate music without learning from or imitating existing creative work. We also touch on the success of the six songs created by Wondr Search, why AI will never fully replace artists, and so much more. For a fascinating conversation at the intersection of art and AI, be sure to tune in today!

Key Points From This Episode:

  • How genetic algorithms can preserve human creativity in the age of AI.
  • Ways that Wondr Search differs from current generative AI models.
  • Why the songs produced by Wondr Search were so well-received by record labels.
  • Justin’s motivations for creating an AI model that doesn’t learn from existing music.
  • Differentiating between AI-generated content and creative work made by humans.
  • Insight into Justin’s PhD topic focused on mathematical optimization.
  • Key differences between operations research and data science.
  • An understanding of the relationship between machine learning and physics.
  • Our guest’s take on “big data” and why more data isn’t always better.
  • Problems Justin focuses on as a technical advisor to Fortune 500 companies.
  • What he is most excited (and most concerned) about for the future of AI.


“[Wondr Search] is definitely not an effort to stand up against generative AI that uses traditional ML methods. I use those a lot and there’s going to be a lot of good that comes from those – but I also think there’s going to be a market for more human-centric generative methods.” — Justin Kilb [0:06:12]

“The definition of intelligence continues to change as [humans and artificial systems] progress.” — Justin Kilb [0:24:29]

“As we make progress, people can access [AI] everywhere as long as they have an internet connection. That's exciting because you see a lot of people doing a lot of great things.” — Justin Kilb [0:26:06]

Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

Justin Kilb on LinkedIn

Wondr Search

‘Conserving Human Creativity with Evolutionary Generative Algorithms: A Case Study in Music Generation’

How AI Happens


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