Daft Punk Broke Up Over AI

Daft Punk's Thomas Bangalter says that the idea of AI robots contributed to the breakup of the duo and the dissolution of their iconic robot-like characters.

By Britta DeVore | Updated

daft punk

Taking off his helmet and revealing the face of one man behind the award-winning now broken up band, Daft Punk, former member Thomas Bangalter partially blames AI for the musician’s split. During an interview with the BBC, Bangalter says that their futuristic, robot-like personas were a primary drive behind the group’s disbanding, commenting that they were beginning to lean too far into the world of artificial intelligence, adding that “As much as I love this character the last thing I would want to be, in the world we live in, in 2023, is a robot.”

Back in the 1990s, Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo could have never possibly dreamt of the effect that their music and on-stage personas would have on the world. Donning cyborg helmets and staying true to the bit of limiting views of their faces, the men known collectively as Daft Punk made audiences move and groove for three decades. Calling it quits back in 2021, many have wondered what the final straws were, and now Bangalter has revealed how big of a part their characters played.

Acknowledging that their band “blurred the line between reality and fiction,” Bangalter told the news source that as time went on he became “terrified of the nature of the relationship between the machines and ourselves.” Inspired by the classic Stanley Kubrick film, 2001: A Space Odyssey, the ex-Daft Punk member reveals that he always thought of their on-stage characters as more of an art piece, drawing parallels to the band’s experimental approach to that of legendary artist Marina Abramović.

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Releasing their first full-length album Homework in 1997, Daft Punk only continued to grow in success over the years, finally capping their catalog with 2013’s Random Access Memories. Known for their rhythm-driven beats, the duo managed to nab two Billboard Music Awards and eight Grammys during their time in the spotlight. The pair worked with the likes of Pharrell Williams and The Weeknd and had some of their most notorious hooks sampled by performers including Janet Jackson and Kanye West.

While their music was featured in titles including the Val Kilmer-led Saint and the Jet Li-starrer Kiss of the Dragon, it would be through 2010’s Tron: Legacy that Daft Punk would properly put its stamp on the film industry. Composing the entire score of the long awaited sequel, the duo perfectly matched their sounds with the cyberworld-based story. Viewers in the know can even catch a cameo appearance from the musicians who appear during the nightclub scene.

With a third installment to the Tron franchise on the way, it sadly seems unlikely that Daft Punk will reunite to bring audiences another killer score.

Almost weekly, we here at Giant Freakin Robot bring you stories of unbelievable steps forward in the realm of artificial intelligence, from acing law exams to certain programs finding themselves in dicey circumstances, there’s no denying that AI has become a daily headline-maker. But, like Thomas Bangalter and his fellow Daft Punk collaborator wondered, how far is too far? While advancements in science and technology are wonderful tools to better mankind, we are sure to find out that there are some downsides as well.

For now, one of the biggest downsides is no doubt losing our beloved Daft Punk to the fear of AI takeover.