n this episode of Music and Meaning, Charlie tackles the headline topic of artificial intelligence (AI) and its impact on music. He kicks off with Elon Musk’s AI warnings and the tech industry’s temporary pause on advancements like ChatGPT-4, then draws an intriguing parallel between AI’s unchecked growth and the biblical Tower of Babel, posing sharp ethical questions. He reminisces about his early days of tech adoption as a young music producer, from Moog synthesizers to digital samplers and drum machines, emphasizing how he learned that these tools came with an ideology of their own. He got played before he played them. Charlie suggests AI is no different. Highlighting AI’s involvement in a Beatles’ song revival, Charlie drops a C. S. Lewis quote and champions the irreplaceable human imagination in all creativity. The episode wraps with a call for wise AI governance, urging a humanity-first approach in technology’s integration with creativity.

Charlie Peacock is a Grammy Award–winning, Billboard chart–topping music producer, composer, and recording artist. He is a co-founder of the Art House, Wedgwood Circle, and founder/director emeritus of the commercial music program at Lipscomb University. Charlie has produced music for film and television, including A Walk to Remember, Chris Cornell’s “Misery Chain” from the soundtrack of 12 Years a Slave, and “Hush,” the title theme to the AMC drama Turn: Washington’s Spies. Named by Billboard’s The Encyclopedia of Record Producers as one of the 500 most important producers in music history, Charlie is also a three-time recipient of the Gospel Music Award for Producer of the Year. His books include Why Everything That Doesn’t Matter, Matters So Much; New Way to Be Human; At the Crossroads; and a contribution to It Was Good: Making Music to the Glory of God. Charlie is the senior music editor for Christianity Today and host of the CT podcast Music and Meaning. He has been married to writer Andi Ashworth for nearly 50 years and they have two grown, married children and four grandchildren.

“Music and Meaning” is a production of Christianity Today:
Executive Produced by Erik Petrik and Matt Stevens
Produced and Written by Charlie Peacock and Mike Cosper
Original Music and Editing by David LaChance and Charlie Peacock
Mix Engineer: Mark Owens
Show theme, “Sound of the Room,” composed by Charlie Peacock, featuring bassist John Patitucci