Tech

South Korea’s HYBE shows how the future of AI and music could work

The world has seen lots of virtual bands over the decades: Gorillaz, Prozzak, The Archies. Hell even Alvin and the Chipmunks date back to 1958. And then there’s Hatsune Miku, a Japanese pop star who’s nothing but a hologram.

Artificial intelligence will take this sort of thing to a whole new level. Witness HYBE, a South Korean company owned by the corporate monster behind BTS and other K-pop bands. They’ve just unveiled Midnatt, a virtual artist who has been programmed to sing in Korean, Japanese, Chinese, Spanish, and Vietnamese as well as English. This was released today (May 15).

Some backstory is required. The person behind all this is Lee Lyun, who is already a well-known Korean artist. HYBE, using AI tech from a company called Supertone that they bought last year, takes Lyun’s voice and manipulates it into the difference languages and even morphs him into a woman at one point.

In other words, this isn’t pure AI. Humans were still needed to create this. Still, you can see where this tech is going to take us.

I’d expect more from HYBE, too, since BTS (their big moneyspinner) is on hiatus. They need to keep the revenue flowing, you know?

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 38427 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

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