Sunday October 02, 2016

The first pop song written by AI


Listen 2:23

The hottest new track in the fall of 2016 was actually written by a machine. Mostly.

It sounds like it could be a Norwegian Indie pop song. And seems to be highly influenced by The Beach Boys or The Beatles. 

Instead, it was an AI program in a laboratory in Paris, France. Which may explain the sweetly romantic lyrics.

Sony researchers used their Flow Machines software to compose two tracks.

The software analyses a massive database of songs from different genres, and then sets to work composing the melody and structure.

But it still required a real human being (in this case, French musician Benoît Carré) to write the lyrics and make the software's melodies into two fully produced tracks.

Sony researchers have been working on AI-generated music for years, most notably jazz. But these are the first pop songs spit out by a machine.

The thing is, the songs are actually good. They're catchy and listenable and quirky.

But how much of that is Benoît Carré, and how much is AI?

And if the songwriting is more AI than human, what can that mean for the future?

Sony's Computer Science Lab had promised to release an album of songs fully written by AI in the year 2017...but we're still waiting.

Meanwhile, try and get these songs out of your head!