Grimes: Music, AI, and the Future of Humanity | Lex Fridman Podcast #281 | Summary and Q&A

April 29, 2022
Lex Fridman Podcast
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Grimes: Music, AI, and the Future of Humanity | Lex Fridman Podcast #281


Grimes discusses the evolution of humans into Homo Techno, the role of technology in shaping our brains, the need for intelligent design in our future, and the importance of optimism in creating positive change.

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Key Insights

  • 🧠 We are evolving into a new species, "Homo Techno," due to our integration with technology and the fundamental changes in our brains and behavior.
  • 🌍 There is a need to study the dark periods of the past to envision an optimistic future for human civilization.
  • 🎙️ The conversation with Grimes touched on topics such as the importance of microphones in music production and the influence of technology on the music industry.
  • 💡 Constraints can aid creativity in music and art by pushing artists to think outside the box and find innovative solutions.
  • 🎶 Technology is changing the nature of music production, making it more accessible and allowing for experimentation with new sounds and techniques.
  • 💻 The role of music producers is often underrated, despite their significant contributions to the success and impact of songs.
  • 🤝 Collaboration with other artists and professionals can be rejuvenating and lead to the creation of vital and exceptional work.
  • 🌌 The future holds potential advancements in various areas, including augmented reality, virtual reality, space travel, genetic engineering, and the integration of AI, but responsible decision-making and education are crucial to prevent negative consequences.


we are becoming cyborgs like our brains are fundamentally changed everyone who grew up with electronics we are fundamentally different from previous from homo sapiens i call us homo techno i i think we have evolved into homo techno which is like essentially a new species previous technologies i mean may have even been more profound and moved us to ... Read More

Questions & Answers

Q: How does Grimes define Homo Techno and how does she believe it differentiates us from Homo Sapiens?

Grimes defines Homo Techno as the species humans have become due to our brains being fundamentally changed by electronics and technology. According to her, this differentiation makes Homo Techno a new species distinct from Homo Sapiens.

Q: How does Grimes view the relationship between technology and art/music production?

Grimes sees technology as a catalyst for artistic freedom and innovation in music production. She believes that technology has allowed for more accessibility and ease in creating music, but also notes the underestimation and undervaluing of music producers and the art of music production by the general public.

Q: What is Grimes' perspective on the future of capitalism and the role of profit in society?

Grimes suggests the concept of social capitalism, where profit is redefined to include social good. She advocates for integrating measures of social well-being and positive impact into the definition of profit, incentivizing businesses and individuals to contribute to social progress alongside economic growth.

Q: How has becoming a mother influenced Grimes' perspective and creativity?

Grimes explains how becoming a mother has reoriented her priorities and sparked a sense of optimism and responsibility to imagine and create positive futures. She shares how her perspective on motherhood has shifted, viewing it as a valuable contribution to society that should be esteemed and compensated.

Q: What does Grimes believe is the current societal mindset and how does she think it should change?

Grimes believes that the current societal focus is on the negative aspects of the world, leading to a lack of ideation and exploration of positive futures. She emphasizes the importance of shifting towards a more optimistic mindset, where envisioning protopian or utopian futures is seen as essential for progress and human development.

Q: How does Grimes view the relationship between cynicism and optimism, and why does she believe optimism is crucial?

Grimes sees a misconception that cynicism is equated with insight, while optimism is seen as naive. She argues that optimism is necessary for creating change and building a better future, and that cynicism can hinder progress. She believes that being a mother has reinforced her optimism and the desire to imagine and work towards positive futures.

Q: What does Grimes envision for the future of humanity and the potential risks of not choosing intelligent design?

Grimes emphasizes the need for intelligent design in shaping the future of humanity. She envisions a future where humans embrace the potential of technology and evolve in a positive direction. She expresses concern about the lack of education and conscious decision-making regarding the impact of technology on our brains, urging society to take responsibility and actively choose positive paths of evolution.


In this video, Lex Friedman interviews musician and artist Grimes on various topics including the evolution of humans into "Homo Techno," the importance of music production, embracing constraints, the future of humanity, the role of technology in art, the value of new music, and the need for intelligent design in shaping our future.

Questions & Answers

Q: Do you classify yourself as Homo Sapiens or Homo Techno?

Grimes considers herself as Homo Techno, a new species that has evolved due to the impact of technology on our brains.

Q: How does Grimes view the role of music production and its significance?

She believes that music production is an underrated art form and that the production of a song can greatly impact its popularity and success. However, the role of music producers is often overlooked and not fully appreciated.

Q: Does Grimes prefer working alone or collaborating with others?

Grimes usually works alone as a producer, engineer, and artist. However, she has started collaborating more recently and finds that working with other people brings out her best and rejuvenates her creativity.

Q: Does Grimes embrace constraints in the creative process?

Grimes acknowledges that constraints can be helpful in the creative process. As technology advances, the constraints of artistic creation are changing, allowing for more freedom and possibilities, but also creating new limitations and challenges.

Q: What are Grimes' thoughts on the future of humanity and the impact of technology?

Grimes believes that we are in a critical moment where we can choose intelligent design and reshape our brains and evolution. She argues that the integration of technology into our lives has already fundamentally changed our brains, and it is crucial that we respond to this evolution consciously and responsibly.

Q: How does Grimes view the importance of new music and staying open to change?

Grimes sees listening to new music and being open to change as crucial for keeping our brains plastic and adaptable. She believes that embracing new music and understanding its value is important for the progress and evolution of humanity.

Q: What does Grimes think about the future and what it could look like?

Grimes references the book "Surface Detail" by Ian Banks and describes it as the best future she has encountered in science fiction. She believes that the future could be a protopian one, where artificial superintelligence coexists harmoniously with biological beings, leading to a society with less war and greater equality.

Q: Is Grimes concerned about the potential negative impacts of technology on humanity?

Grimes expresses concerns about the reckless use of technology and the lack of education and awareness on how it is shaping our brains. She believes there should be a more responsible and conscious approach to enable a positive evolution and integration with AI.

Q: Can capitalism adopt a broader view of profit that includes social good?

Grimes suggests that incorporating social good into the definition of profit could incentivize the creation and celebration of valuable contributions to society, such as motherhood or any other form of creativity or education.

Q: What are Grimes' thoughts on dismantling capitalism?

Grimes believes that while capitalism has flaws, completely dismantling it may not be the solution. She suggests a more balanced approach that combines private ownership with reevaluating the value placed on various contributions to society. Without dismissing the importance of private ownership, Grimes encourages exploring alternative models, such as a "Motherhood DAO," to fund and support initiatives like single mothers and child-rearing.


Grimes offers a unique perspective on the evolution of humanity into Homo Techno, the underappreciated role of music production, the need for embracing constraints, the importance of intelligent design in shaping our future, the value of new music, and rethinking the concept of profit to include social good. Her insights highlight the potential benefits and challenges associated with technology and the ongoing evolution of human civilization.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Grimes believes that humans have evolved into Homo Techno due to the influence of technology on our brains.

  • She emphasizes the need for intelligent design in shaping our future and choosing how we evolve as a species.

  • Grimes discusses the impact of motherhood on her perspective, her changing priorities, and her desire to create optimistic art.

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