Wondering who that hot new collaborator is, on your favorite artist’s new album?
It might just be artificial intelligence.
Progress in AI music is accelerating rapidly, thanks to researchers and musicians at major tech conferences and universities who want to integrate widespread AI into the music world.
Many artists feel we’re about to enter a “golden age” of creativity, powered by artificial intelligence, that can push music in new directions.
Let’s look at some of the newest ways artificial intelligence is transforming the music industry from top to bottom.
Creating New Songs with the Help of AI
For 30 years, musician and composer David Cope has been working on Experiments in Musical Intelligence (EMI). EMI originally began in 1982 as an effort to help Cope overcome “composer’s block,” and now his algorithms have produced a large number of original compositions in a variety of genres and styles.
AIVA uses AI and deep learning algorithms to help mainstream users compose their own soundtrack music and scores. It’s the perfect tool for content creators on Youtube, Twitch, Tik Tok, and Instagram who need a steady supply of music but don’t have an endless budget for royalties.
Grammy-nominated producer Alex da Kid used IBM Watson to analyze five years’ of hit songs, as well as cultural data from films, social media, and online articles to figure out a theme for an AI-generated song that fans would enjoy. The final song, “Not Easy,” reached number four on the iTunes Hot Tracks chart within 48 hours after its release.
Composers Drew Silverstein, Sam Estes, and Michael Hobe were working on music for big-budget movies like The Dark Knight when they started getting requests for simple background music for television and video games. They worked together to create Amper, a consumer-friendly online tool that helps non-musicians and online content creators make royalty-free music – using their own parameters – in a few seconds.
Creating Virtual Pop Stars
One thing is clear: Since the start of the pandemic, fans miss going to concerts.
To fill the void, Authentic Artists has introduced a large collection of AI-powered virtual artists who can deliver new music experiences.
Authentic Artists’ animated virtual musicians generate all-original compositions to play on screen, and also respond to audience feedback by increasing or decreasing the tempo or intensity, or even fast-forwarding to the next song in the set.
Finding the Next Big Artists
Audio-on-demand streaming like Spotify totaled $534 billion in the United States alone, according to Buzz Angle Music’s 2018 report.
So how do promising new artists get discovered, with all that competition?
Artificial intelligence helps the music industry with A&R (artist and repertoire) discovery by combing through music and trying to identify the next breakout star.
Warner Music Group acquired a tech start-up last year that uses an algorithm to review social, streaming, and touring data to find promising talent. In 2018, Apple also acquired Asaii, a start-up that specializes in music analytics, to help them boost their A&R.
AI Complementing Creativity
AI technology is transforming the music industry in a myriad of ways, but creatives shouldn’t be worried about losing their jobs and being replaced by computers. We’re still a long way from artificial intelligence being able to create hit songs on their own.
But as tools develop and the music industry learns how to use AI as a supplement to human creativity, our world will continue to sound sweeter and sweeter every year.