WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF
- Creative machines should be decades away but they’re here, today, and increasingly it looks like “creativity” is just another word for “algorithm”
Sony recently announced that they’ve released two brand new pop songs from a new, unsigned artist, and while the announcement shouldn’t seem even worth noting, after all, Sony’s one of the world’s largest music company’s with over $5 billion in revenues, these songs were different. They’re arguably the future of music, but it’s not because of their content, it’s because the unsigned artist… well, it’s an artificial intelligence (AI). And that’s bad news if you’re an artist…
Analysts, pah to analysts by the way, futurists rule, have told us for decades that creative machines wouldn’t appear on the horizon until at least the 2040’s but as ever technology moves faster than expected, and now Son’y AI is simply one of a number of new creative machines I’ve seen emerge. Now check out the first one called “Daddy’s Car” created in the style of The Beatles.
This particular song was created by the folks at Sony’s CSL Research Laboratory using a piece of software they call “Flow Machines.”
So you might be wondering how it works, so let me enlighten you… the Flow Machines software learns music styles from an exhaustive catalogue of songs, then simply exploits unique combinations of styles as well as optimisation and interaction techniques which it uses to compose music in just about any style or genre.
The second pop song, below, is called “The Ballad of Mr. Shadow” which is apparently a hat tip to our new AI overlords. The song was created in the style of American songwriters like Duke Ellington, Cole Porter, George Gershwin, and Irving Berlin, among others.
Naturally Sony aren’t the only company playing around with AI to create new music, Google have a musical AI called Magenta, that I wrote about a while ago. However, unlike Google though Sony have said that they plan on releasing the world’s first fully composed AI album later this year so watch out folks – an AI could soon be topping the Billboard charts.
Tell me what you think of the songs in the comments, and remember this is just the beginning…
Matthew Griffin Global Futurist, Tech Evangelist, X Prize Mentor ● Int'l Keynote Speaker ● Disruption, Futures and Innovation expert
Matthew Griffin, Futurist and Founder of the 311 Institute, a global futures think tank, is described as “The Adviser behind the Advisers.” Recognised in 2013, 2015 and 2016 as one of Europe’s foremost futurists, innovation and strategy experts Matthew mentors several XPrize teams, and is an award winning author, entrepreneur and international speaker who is regularly featured on the BBC, Discovery, Kurzweil, Newsweek, TechCrunch and VentureBeat. Working hand in hand with accelerators, investors, governments, multi-nationals and regulators around the world Matthew shines a light on the future and helps them transform their industries, organisations, products and services by demonstrating how the combination of democratised, and increasingly powerful emerging technologies, are helping fuel cultural, industrial and societal change that is transforming old industries and creating new ones. Matthew’s clients include Accenture, Bain & Co, Bank of America, Booz Allen Hamilton, Boston Consulting Group, Dell EMC, Deloitte, Deutsche Bank, E&Y, Fidelity, Goldman Sachs, Huawei, JP Morgan Chase, KPMG, McKinsey & Co, PWC, Qualcomm, SAP, Schroeder’s, Sequoia Capital, UBS, the UK’s HM Treasury, the USAF and many others.