What is the future of artificial intelligence in music?
Artificial intelligence has profoundly transformed many sectors, and the music industry is no exception. In recent years, rapid advances in AI have pushed back the boundaries of music creation and opened up exciting new possibilities for artists and listeners, while revolutionising the way we produce, consume and interact with music. It's a subject that is as divisive as it is controversial, both for reasons of originality and respect for the art form, and for questions of rights.
From David Guetta broadcasting an Eminem track created by an AI during his DJ set, to Drake being forced to feature with The Weeknd on the track Heart on my Sleeve at the sole initiative of an Internet user, to the cover version of Beyoncé's CUFF IT but with Rihanna's voice, the music industry is seizing on the subject to anticipate the possible abuses of these new tools.
Indeed, Spotify has already removed several thousand AI-generated tracks from its platform, and record companies are organising to combat the non-consensual exploitation of the voices of artists in its catalogue. However, the possibilities with AI are numerous and artists need to start thinking about the contribution it could make to their music.
AI-assisted music composition
AI-assisted music composition has become increasingly sophisticated. Researchers and developers have been working on deep learning models capable of generating original music by drawing on huge existing music databases. These systems can analyze thousands of songs and extract patterns and structures to create new compositions.
The results of this work are astounding. Musicians can collaborate with AIs to generate unique melodies, harmonies and rhythms that reflect their personal style. Companies have also created platforms that allow artists to compose and experiment with user-friendly AI tools, opening up new creative possibilities.
Some take a dim view of this possibility, such as Sting, member of The Police, who believes that artists will have to fight AI to survive. But that's not the view of the President of the Grammys, who announced this week that "Artificial Intelligence, or music that contains elements created by AI, is absolutely eligible for entry and consideration for a Grammy nomination." However, "Only human creators can be submitted for consideration, nominated or win a Grammy Award. A work that contains no human authorship is not eligible in any category." "We will not award a Grammy or Grammy nomination for the AI portion".
Improving sound quality
In addition to composition, AI has also helped to improve the sound quality of musical recordings. AI-based signal processing and audio restoration technologies can reduce background noise, improve the clarity of recordings and restore old or damaged recordings. This has a significant impact on the way music is produced and remastered, ensuring a better, more immersive listening experience for listeners.
Abbey Road Studios has used AI to restore and remaster historic recordings, such as Beatles albums. In addition, Paul McCartney has announced the release of an unreleased track featuring John Lennon's voice, recovered using AI.
The personalised music experience
Artificial intelligence has also transformed the music experience for listeners by offering greater personalisation. Thanks to machine learning algorithms, music streaming services can recommend songs, artists and playlists based on users' individual tastes and preferences. These personalised recommendations allow listeners to discover new artists and musical genres, while providing them with a musical experience that is more suited to their tastes.
For example, Spotify uses machine learning algorithms to analyse a user's listening habits and suggest personalised playlists. These recommendations help listeners discover new artists and diversify their musical experience.
Similarly, on the Base for Music platform, we have begun to integrate our own ad optimisation algorithm to identify the level of interest of different panels of listeners for content based on their preferred musical genres or artists.
AI as a musical collaborator
In addition to its role in composition, AI can also act as a musical collaborator for artists. AI-based software can analyze an artist's existing tracks and suggest ideas for arrangements, variations or modifications. This allows artists to explore new musical directions and expand their creativity based on intelligent AI suggestions.
American artist and technology theorist Holly Herndon worked with an AI programme called "Spawn" to produce the album "PROTO". Spawn generates musical ideas in real time, allowing Holly Herndon to collaborate with the AI to create unique and experimental compositions.
The relationship between artificial intelligence and music has intensified radically, particularly since the resounding success of ChatGPT, leading the most innovative artists to seize on the technology and integrate it into their musical universe. Musical composition could reach new heights, the sound quality of recordings is likely to improve, and listeners' musical experience will continue to become increasingly personalised. Whether we like it or not, artificial intelligence continues to push back the boundaries of musical creativity and redefine the way we interact with music. It's up to us to set the limits now, while making the most of the tools developed for this technology.
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