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  • Writer's pictureDmitri Vietze

WTF is Going on with Artificial Intelligence and Music? AI’s Got Talent!

Making music has largely been thought of as a creative endeavor involving humans, the stuff around them, and sound waves. So when a slew of Artificial Intelligence technologies emerged that make music or help make music, people freaked the fuck out. Just when artists went from making nothing to making fractions of pennies and fighting to protect their music from being pirated on online video platforms, now they must contend with robots!?

But does Artificial Intelligence have talent? Can it displace human musicians? We think not, but we still thought it would be fun to let AI-powered apps, platforms, and instruments strut their stuff. At the first annual Music Tectonics Conference, October 28-29, 2019 in Los Angeles, we will host A.I.’s Got Talent – a talent show that explores the variety of ways A.I. is used to make music. DJ, producer, public speaker, and journalist Dani Deahl will emcee! Dani's right at home at the epicenter of music and technology, so we're thrilled that she will be a part of the conference!

Ai's Got Talent! *Jazz Hands*

But we need your help!

First, we need to come up with a theme that all contenders will need to make music around. I was thinking “Heartbroken Robot” but I bet you could come up with something better. Tweet your idea and tag it: #AIsGotTalent

Second, we’ve identified three contenders so far. We would like to hear from you if you have an A.I. app or platform you want to join the talent show. Email with the subject line “A.I.’s Got Talent.”

Here are the contenders we have so far:

Boomy—which allows users to start making songs in multiple styles with the touch of a button. The company is about to launch out of beta, and by the time Music Tectonics rolls around, they may even be ready to show off synthesized vocals and lyrics. OK, yeah, so this one is scary on paper. But we imagine this might be used by teens to generate soundtracks to wacky dance routines and failed stunts… or to perfect that ode you like to sing to your snooty cat or crazy dog. You know the one.

Song AI—Puts the fan in the band. Just as Instagram helped us turn pro with photography, Song AI delivers genuine musical talent to the palm of our hands. Hit songs become playgrounds where fans become rock stars, playing any song on any instrument expertly and improvisationally by simply touching the screen. AI provides a safety net, where touch becomes musical expression faithful to the style of the song and artist at a language level.

Amadeus Code—which helps prolific songwriters/composers come up with new melodies. This one was invented by a team of production musicians whose jobs were to compose and produce music for top artists in Asia every day. You can generate a melody based on a few parameters. Or you pull in a reference track, and the app presents you with a new melody, rhythm, and harmony in a cool little color wheel. You can then tweak or regenerate parts of the wheel to get the song the way you want it. Then you export the MIDI to your DAW and start replacing lines, choosing new instruments/sounds, adding vocals, and make it your own. See, we told you A.I. can help musicians!

So let’s go crazy and see how much talent lies in the machine learning-driven heart of AI music tech. We need you humans to make it work. Send us your ideas for themes and other A.I. contenders, or the bots will flood your discovery playlists with AI-generated covers of “Never Gonna Give You Up.”

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