Machines and robots powered by artificial intelligence is something we have already got accustomed to, but their spheres of action have largely been centered around engineering, self-driving cars, robots that perform manual labor, etc. Now when we consider that AI has found its way into art, it makes the idea of smart machines taking over the world a little less incredible. Joking aside, the development of “smart” computers and devices is the sole mission of the 21st-century technology, and one of its aims is to create machines that can compose music on their own.
The AI machines use algorithms that allow them to process vast amounts of data and eventually learn from them with the help of what can be referred to as the neural network of AI. This process is called machine learning, and it is the basis on which artificial intelligence is going to develop further.
Many companies around the world used this technology and exposed the AI computers to music only to see how rhythm, pitch, melody and other aspects of it get arranged into sets of tones that pass the Turing test with ease. This test means that people, when instructed to listen to music created by a person and the one created by a machine, were not able to differentiate one from another.
IBM’s Watson Beat
One of the most notable examples of an AI creating music is surely IBM’s Watson Beat. Based on the Watson AI platform, the Watson Beat can take audio samples from the users and combine them into an original composition. Using its neural network, it is capable of discerning not only pitch, rhythm, melody, and timbre, but also musical genres and styles.
A startup from Luxembourg has created an app called Artificial Intelligence Virtual Artist, or in short, AIVA. This program has been trained to compose classical music and is restricted to that genre, but the strides made skyrocketed them into the world of AI-powered music industry. AIVA uses deep learning technique with reinforced learning that allows it to produce sheet music which can be performed by orchestras and individual artists since AI only creates music and does not perform it.
Amper Music is another example of an AI program that is used by gamers, YouTubers and other developers when they need cheap background music. The program is capable of producing, writing and performing music based on its training in music theory and recognizing which music triggers certain emotions. Users create tracks by selecting the offered tempo, genre, style and other features which Amper Music combine in order to develop accessible and original music.