With AI, You Don’t Have to Be An Artist to Make Music
Last Updated: June 15, 2023, 08:15 IST
United States of America (USA)
New technologies are changing not only the way we consume music, but also the way it is made. Artificial intelligence programs are increasingly being used to create tracks from scratch, without the help of any songwriter, composer or performer.
Several startups now offer AI software to help with musical compositions, such as Music LM, AI Music, Melodrive, Groov. AI, Humtap and Popgun. All the more reasons for Meta to take an interest. The American group recently released a first version of MusicGen, an open-source tool capable of generating music from a text description.
The way it works is reminiscent of generative artificial intelligence tools such as ChatGPT or Dall-E. MusicGen uses language comprehension and learning models based on very large amounts of data to craft instrumental pieces of up to 12 seconds in length. Users simply write a precise prompt (a written request), indicating the desired musical genre, tempo, instrument or mood. In just a few minutes, the machine constructs an original track that matches their requirements. This technical feat is made possible by the 20,000 hours of recordings with which MusicGen has been trained. Some of these come from royalty-free music platforms such as Shutterstock and Pond5, according to the tech news website, Techcrunch.
MusicGen’s creations are experimental: they are far more flawed than those made by real musicians. But for how long? As MusicGen’s model is open source, Meta’s researchers will use feedback from users of the artificial intelligence software to improve its composition. This may well revive the fears among music professionals that they will eventually be replaced by machines.
Technology to the detriment of ‘real’ artists?
By all accounts, no AI-generated tracks can yet rival those made by human artists. But that hasn’t stopped these computer-generated creations from enjoying some success on the internet. A fake song by Drake and The Weeknd, entitled “Heart On My Sleeve,” scored millions of views on TikTok, even though it was the product of AI perfectly imitating the voices and styles of the Canadian musicians. Music streaming services are now home to many tracks similar to “Heart On My Sleeve,” made from scratch by artificial intelligence software. They are swelling their catalogs with millions of tracks, much to the dismay of artists who are already struggling to be seen and, above all, heard on these platforms.
The prospect of a music industry dominated by AI is prompting artists, record labels and streaming services to mobilize. On June 6, Deezer announced its intention to develop tools capable of identifying songs generated by artificial intelligence. “AI can be used to create new incredible content and I believe there are massive benefits from using generative AI, but we need to ensure it’s done in a responsible way. There’s an opportunity now to get things right from the start of the AI revolution, and not make the same mistakes as the social media giants did when fake news started to flood their platforms. We owe it to the artists and the fans,” said Deezer CEO, Jeronimo Folgueira, in a statement.
(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed – AFP)