We like to think of creativity as a uniquely human attribute, but it seems like machines are already able to compose music that’s “good enough” for most of us. Will we soon have algorithmic music “stars” or will the AI merely assist human composers? Perhaps some completely new musical genre with be birthed from this AI/Human collaboration?!
As AI capabilities improve, it’s possible—probable even—that the songs will become good enough that we’d opt to listen to them, for instance, while working or driving. The economics are enticing for streaming services.
Imagine Spotify self-generating thousands of hours of chill-out ambient tracks with no need to pay human composers a dime. […]“They won’t be able to bring any emotion, any life experiences, into it. They won’t be able to cross-pollinate ideas from other fields.” As Adam Hibble, creator of Popgun’s music-writing tool, puts it, “This AI has no idea what’s culturally relevant or what is politically relevant or whatever it is that is currently important in the zeitgeist. It’s a mindless but very intelligent music creation system.” […]Yet in one sense, the neural nets are merely mimicking the way humans compose. We, too, consume hundreds or thousands of songs over a lifetime, intuit patterns, and recombine our knowledge into something new. We sample, we steal, and we transmogrify. Our creativity, too, is built on the creativity of those who came before. But when a machine does this, it can feel like an impersonal, even vampiric act. […]
Found this article via the excellent Sentiers newsletter — a carefully curated weekly bulletin synthesizing and contextualizing the changes in technology and the many ways in which it transforms society.
April 16, 2019 — Fiona McDougall
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