Creativity and emotion have always been considered to be exclusively human exploits, but recent innovations in the field of artificial intelligence are poised to change this. Machines have been capable of playing music for years, but recently they’ve also become able to compose it and inform musicians on the direction they should take with their song.
Below are three of the most notable AIs that are going to have a transformative effect on the music industry. All three of these technologies present the potential to expand not only the capabilities of artificial intelligence, but the humans who rely on it as well.
1. Aiva The Composer
Aiva Technologies is the tech startup behind the revolutionary AI Aiva (Artificial Intelligence Virtual Artist). Aiva has composed music for movies, advertising agencies, and game studios. The secret behind Aiva is the design philosophy which influenced its creation. Aiva was created through a series of “deep learning” algorithms, which intend to replicate the way a human brain learns. Essentially, the machine understands how music works. This means that Aiva composes organically, much like a human would. Aiva is also capable of learning from famous composers, implementing the techniques they used in its own work.
Click here for a sample of Aiva’s compositions.
2. The Emotional IBM Watson BEAT
IBM’s Watson, famous for that time it cleaned up at Jeopardy, is a collection of APIs which synthesizes answers to questions from massive amounts of data. The technology has a huge range of applications, and has recently been adopted as a tool to help inspire human creativity.
Watson BEAT recently partnered with Alex Da Kid to write the hit song “Not Easy”. To assist Alex, Watson Beats analyzed more than 26,000 popular songs, headlines, and searches in order to find connections between music conventions and emotions. The AI can conjure everything from the dreamy swells perfect for a romantic crooner to the uplifting and aggressive beats of dance music.
This AI doesn’t compose music so much as it understands the emotion behind it. So, while it’s not a genuine composer like Aiva it’s unique in that it’s one of the few AIs capable of understanding human emotion.
3. Jukedeck and the $20 Song
Like Aiva, Jukedeck’s AI composes music through deep learning, emulating a neural network to create a technological process which can advance independent of human intervention. However, the company is unique in the it’s bringing instrumental which are commercially viable to those who would be unable to afford them otherwise.
At just $21.99 a song, Jukedeck markets their songs to anyone who needs a simplistic instrumental backing. The technology wouldn’t be suitable for big budget projects like Blockbusters or AAA videogames, but it would be an undeniable asset to projects with a more limited budget.
Jukedeck seems to have had more commercial success than its competitors. While the company’s founder won’t reveal just how lucrative the business has been, he did reveal that the British branch of Coca-Cola has invested in a monthly subscription.
What Artificial Intelligence Means For The Music Industry
Humans have been afraid of their growing irrelevancy since the introduction of the steam engine, and while humanity’s place in the world has evolved alongside technology there’s always been room for us.
The good news is that this isn’t going to change anytime soon. Machines are excellent at synthesizing data and creating music on par with any human composer, but they haven’t reached the level where they can advance music.
As always, humans imagine and machines reiterate. And with the current state of technology, that doesn’t seem like it will change any time soon.
Mason Hoberg is a writer interested in Technology, Music and Musical Instruments