Artificial Intelligence and Music (AIM)

Artificial intelligence is prevalent in everything from the production of songs and albums to how we listen to our tunes on streaming platforms.Most of the literature on the “Artificial Intelligence” speaks it’s relevance with thefields like medicine,engineering,stock market,robotics,vision, pharmaceuticals, speech processing, natural language processing, etc.Perhaps less popular is the contribution of AI in the field of music.Artificial intelligence and music (AIM) has been commonly used subject in many conferences and workshops like International Computer Music Conference , International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence etc. which begun around in 1970’s. The current research in AIM deals with application of AI in music composition, performance, and digital signal processing.

Many music programs/softwares have been developed that use AI to produce music. These are used in composing music notations i.e. music composition (can refer to an original piece or work of music, either vocal or instrumental, the structure of a musical piece, or to the process of creating or writing a new piece of music.), for digital recording(audio signals picked up by a microphone or other transducer or video signals picked up by a camera or similar device are converted into a stream of discrete numbers. To play back a digital sound recording, the numbers are retrieved and converted back into their original analog waveforms so that they can be heard through a loudspeaker.), to create electronic music (telharmonium, Hammond organ, and the electric guitar), and many other musical applications.

  • How does AI create Music ?

The famous British computer scientist, Alan Turing was the first person to record the computer-generated music which comprised of a machine that covered almost the entire floor of a lab. This AI process of creating music begins by analyzing data from various compositions. Then using reinforcement learning, the algorithm learns the characteristics and patterns in these compositions. Many companies have invested in future projects where AI will assist the musicians in composing musical notations. Google’s Magenta project, an open-source platform, produced songs written and performed by AI and Sony developed Flow Machines, an AI system that’s already released “Daddy’s Car,” a song created by AI.

  • Will AI beat our musicians ?

Yes ! AI can produce a replica of the sound of an artist. And Yes days are not too far when AI-generated music will become the mainstay on the radio stations.

For years, programs like Pandora and Amazon Music have used mathematical algorithms to predict the songs that are likely to appeal to an individual user. And AI has actually become a part of the songwriting process, using programs like Watson Beat, Amper, that consumes  a “training set” of data, maps the relationships between the songs and then produces new written materials. With all of these techniques still a question remains, that is, “Can AI create better music than human beings can?”.

Of course, any answer to this question relies on what makes music “good.” We might define good music as “music that produces a strong empathetic emotional response (euphoria, nostalgia, sadness) in an individual.” If that’s the case, then there’s actually a strong argument that AI can indeed create better music than human beings can, by leveraging individual user-level preferences in order to manufacture truly personalized music.

  • What is Shazam?

Shazam is one of the first consumer-used AI services. Now apart of the Apple family, The application can identify music, movies, advertising, and television shows, based on a short sample played and using the microphone on the device.Shazam is available on android, macos and many more. In 2013, Shazam did a partnership with Saavn, an Indian online music streaming service. This deal added huge number of songs in Indian languages to Shazam’s database.

The AI revolution is here! Few companies that are leading the charge are AivaTechnologies(Luxembourg), Amper Music (NewYork), ASAII (Berkeley), Brain.FM (Chicago), Landr (Los Angeles) &Melodrive(Berlin).

Although AI is takingover the traditional music procedures, there are many musicians who feel that the onset of AI won’t end human art, but spur a new golden era of creativity.While obstacles like copyright complications and other hurdles have yet to be worked out, musicians working with AI hope that the technology will become a democratizing force and an essential part of everyday musical creation.


Compiled By:

Prof. Prajakta Tanksali,

Assistant Professor, Department of Information Technology