Here’s a new EP with melodies and lyrics written by artificial intelligence

Can artificial intelligence be harnessed to make proper art? A startup called WaveAI has an app called Alysia that anyone can use. Here’s how it works:

  • Choose a background track in the style you prefer.
  • Alysia generates the lyrics and melody.
  • Er, that’s it.

As a proof of concept, WaveAI has released a three-track EP created by Alysia to show that anyone can write a song with just a smartphone.  Thoughts?

Call me old-fashioned, but while WaveAI calls this “the democratization of songwriting,” it feels like a watering down of the whole thing, another example of handing over creativity to a soulless machine.

But not everyone agrees. The Guardian thinks that AI is changing music for good.

Artificial intelligence is already used in music by streaming services such as Spotify, which scan what we listen to so they can better recommend what we might enjoy next. But AI is increasingly being asked to compose music itself – and this is the problem confronting many more computer scientists besides Dadabots.

Musicians – popular, experimental and otherwise – have been using AI to varying degrees over the last three decades. Pop’s chief theoretician, Brian Eno, used it not only to create new endlessly perpetuating music on his recent album Reflection but to render an entire visual experience in 2016’s The Ship. The arrangements on Mexican composer Ivan Paz’s album Visions of Space, which sounds a bit like an intergalactic traffic jam, were done by algorithms he created himself. Most recently, producer Baauer – who topped the US charts in 2012 with his viral track Harlem Shake – made Hate Me with Lil Miquela, an artificial digital Instagram avatar. The next step for synthetic beings like these is to create music on their own – that is, if they can get the software to shut up about Jesus.

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Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 38296 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

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