82 Ash Koosha: ‘Return 0’


The human race is kind of resigned to losing all of it’s jobs to robots. In their March 2017 paper, ‘Robots and Jobs: Evidence from the UK Labour Market‘, Acemoglu and Restrepo found that the addition of one more robot per thousand workers reduces the employment to population ratio by about 0.18 – 0.34 percentage points and wages by 0.25 – 0.5 percent.

Of course, I wouldn’t be the widely lauded and routinely celebrated investigative journalist that I am if I didn’t investigate their findings and see if such statistics could be replicated in the UK job market. Unfortunately, Manchester Refugee Support Network only employs 5 people, so in order to get a proper reading on effect on one robot per one thousand employees I had to measure the effect of


one two hundredth of a robot on our work. I think. There’s really no way of knowing exactly what the maths are, but that’s what I did so it has to be correct.

It’s hard to truly say what would represent 0.5% of a robot, but my contacts in the robots industry* tell me that equates to roughly a robot eyeball. With this in mind, I introduced a fully automated eyeball to the office at MRSN. Well, I initially assumed it was a fully automatic robotic eyeball, but later examinations have suggested it may in fact be closer to a chocolate ball wrapped in tinfoil. Again, there really is no way of actually knowing, but talks conducted with my contacts in the scientific research industry* have confirmed that this trivial matter should have had no effects on the findings.

(*Paul. You know Paul! Paul! He used to write ABC Warriors for 2000AD Magazine! Or maybe he used to read ABC Warriors… No, maybe he had just heard of them… No… It’s me who’s heard of them, but I’ve heard him use the letters A, B and very possibly C before, so I guess he’s a robotics expert by connotation. Nemesis the Warlock though, ammi right?? That’s where shit was really at! Yeah? Yeah? Yeah.)


The results, I don’t mind telling you dear reader, were astonishing. Employment fell a full twenty percent as one employee was dismissed. The reason given was ‘continuing self-exposure and making the other employers uncomfortable with his involuntary confessions of pleasure’. It’s a bit hard to read between the lines of the typically bureaucratic office speak but, yeah, it was because of the robot eye, wasn’t it? I also saw my wages drop an amazing one hundred percent! I have not at present been able to ask what the effects were on the other members of staff as I am still legally prohibited from entering the premises, but it’s clear from my study that Acemoglu and Restrepo may have actually been under representing the effect by as much as a factor of 400!

What does this tell us? Well, yes, it tells us that the liberal media has it in for me and that free expression is obviously a myth, but what else does it tell us?

It tells us that the human race is stuck in a ridiculous paradox where we are creating technology that renders much employment extinct and then bemoaning the fact that for some reason new technology is rendering much employment extinct. That’s not the way we should be looking at it. Why aren’t we instead debating the fact that we are forcing human beings to do jobs that robots can do!?

Does your job require you to do tedious, repetitive tasks? Be alert for long periods? Ready to respond at a moment’s notice? Human’s are rubbish at that! Why, in a period of intensive and ever-expanding technological advances, are more and more humans being forced to work like machines?! 90% of industrial and automobile accidents happen due to ‘human error’. These accidents happen when you ask people to perform tasks that violate their human nature, we are asking people to act like robots and bemoaning the very unrobot-like ‘mistakes’ they make.

More jobs should be done by freaking machines, and we need more jobs centred around actual human abilities like curiosity and creativity. We’ve made our world technology-cenric rather than human-centric. Maybe there just isn’t enough actual jobs for every human being, but the idea that you have to work is a relatively extremely recent human fancy. The Russel Brand of his day Richard Nixon noted the need for universal income back in 1969, and 50 years later the rise of automaton will surely make this essential before many of us are old enough to pull of a flat cap. Yes, I’m looking at you, Paula- you really can’t make that work.

Or just, y’know, kill two out of every three children at birth, there really is no right answer.


Ash Koosha, whom you might have heard about when I first mentioned this album 800 words ago, is an Iranian born polymath with absolutely the right idea when it comes to technology. He has previously done gigs in virtual reality when he was refused a Visa to enter the US,  his last album was actually only delivered in the form of VAR decisions at the 2018 World Cup, and the fourth track on his debut album is actually only known by Amazon’s Alexa, but she refuses to tell anyone.

‘Return 0’ is predominantly AI-created, as Koosha explained: “Humans are best at taste because we have intention in finalising and presenting something… The computer can create arpeggios and melodies—parts that I don’t necessarily want to spend time on”. It’s Koosha using technology to contribute what it can, then inputting the essential human touch to finalise it for consumption, which is the kind of human/robot interface that we all need to get better at in the future! And it’s… wow… it’s… it’s…

It’s not great. It’s certainly not better than any actual human record this year, and absolutely far better enjoyed as an interesting experiment than a piece of art. It often sounds- get this- very artificial at times, and completely lacking in the- get this- human emotion that the best music has, electronic or otherwise.

If only Ash Koosha released another album this year that he created completely by himself so we could compare. I guess that if that album were to appear on the list a lot higher then that would be something of a win for the humans.



41 Minutes

Yeeeeeeeeeah, that’s far too long (guffaw!) especially as it’s completely computer manufactured (guffaw!) and you really start to question the £7 spent roughly around track three (guf… faw….?)



Earth (Ash Koosha) vs Planet Earth (Prince)

How many of these do you think He is going to lose? Despite Earth being one of the more coherent tracks on ‘Return 0’, and me never quite forgiving Prince for forcing me to buy the freaking Daily Mail to buy this mostly forgettable album, it’s still an easy win.


Previous Entries

2016 (No. 89)

Eighty Nine! Jesus, and I thought this year’s list was overloaded…







5 thoughts on “82 Ash Koosha: ‘Return 0’

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