Musical AI: Will Robots Write Symphonies?

August 17th, 2017

By Michael Solomon, 10x Management Co-Founder

We usually think about AI and automation performing tasks like driving a car or working on an assembly line, but what about creative fields? Could technology write a symphony? Could technology score a movie, or write the next big hit song of the summer? According to The Guardian, AI composers might not be that far off. Companies like Jukedeck and AI Duet are working on programs that mimic traditionally human songwriting abilities. With Jukedeck, you input the type of mood you’re in, the genre you like, the tempo, instruments, and song length you desire, and Jukedeck does the rest. It creates a song just for you out of thin air. With AI Duet, you play a few notes on the piano, and the program will respond with a melody of its own inspired by what you play!

So how soon will AI replace Beethoven? We’re still pretty far off. For those of you who are classical music aficionados, not to worry, Beethoven’s legacy is safe. Right now, musical AI is more about simple background music that fits an aesthetic people crave. Think elevator music. People know it’s there, but they never pay that much attention to it. Creating a hit song or connecting with people requires emotion, which right now, only humans really understand. But is it possible in the future that AI could mimic our emotions? Never say never!

We’re not in danger of completely replacing musicians any time soon, but companies like Jukedeck and AI Duet will surely eat a significant number of jobs from working musicians. We’ve written about the dangers of AI replacing a large percentage of human jobs in the near future, and this goes to show that it’s not just blue collar jobs that are at risk. Every single industry, from healthcare, to blue collar jobs, to white collar jobs, to creative fields are at risk because of advancements in AI.

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