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How Artificial Intelligence Is Changing Music

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the i-think-i-saw-this-episode-of-TNG-already dept.

Movies 261

mbone writes "Ever wonder how Jimi Hendrix would cover Lady Gaga? Whether you do or not [I'm guessing not], you may be about to find out. Writing for Wired, Eliot Van Buskirk describes North Carolina's Zenph Sound Innovations, which takes existing recordings of musicians (deceased, for now) and models their 'musical personalities' to create new recordings, apparently to critical acclaim (PDF). The company has raised $10.7 million in funding to pursue their business plan, and hopes to branch out into, among other things, software that would let musicians jam with virtual versions of famous musicians. This work unites music with the very similar trend going on in the movies — Tron 2.0, for example, will clone the young Jeff Bridges. If this goes on, will the major labels and studios actually need musicians and actors? In the future, it could be harder to make money playing guitar with all of the competition from dead or retired artists."

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roll over, beethoven, (5, Funny)

notgm (1069012) | more than 4 years ago | (#31348190)

tell Tchaikovsky the news.

Re:roll over, beethoven, (1)

Beardo the Bearded (321478) | more than 4 years ago | (#31348862)

Mozart in concert, live...ish.

Re:roll over, beethoven, (5, Insightful)

wealthychef (584778) | more than 4 years ago | (#31348962)

I'm a musician, but I think this is awesome. Maybe now we can get past our bizarre obsession with entertainers and start focusing on curing cancer, getting nuclear fusion working, etc.

It's a shame, but I'm ok with it (5, Insightful)

iPhr0stByt3 (1278060) | more than 4 years ago | (#31348206)

It's too bad if artists can't turn their compositions into money; but at the same time, a true artist doesn't need compensation - he/she does it for the sake of art, no? What do you think?

Re:It's a shame, but I'm ok with it (2, Interesting)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#31348272)

I certainly do it for the art (and because it's really fun)...all my music is free. No DRM and no charge [livingwithanerd.com] . I'll eventually get all my tracks up for free once I get my new music page finished, but for now that's what is available.

Re:It's a shame, but I'm ok with it (0, Offtopic)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 4 years ago | (#31348548)

Sounds good. Think you could do a cover of "Zophar has Manboobs" for us?

Re:It's a shame, but I'm ok with it (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#31348562)

Thanks :-) Lol, I could give it a try! I'll let you know if I'm successful

Re:It's a shame, but I'm ok with it (4, Interesting)

Steauengeglase (512315) | more than 4 years ago | (#31348298)

I think it will be interesting when an estate tries to sue someone for producing something "in the style of" a particular dead artist. It'll totally be worth it if it gets rid of the Nickleback derivatives.

Re:It's a shame, but I'm ok with it (5, Informative)

theheadlessrabbit (1022587) | more than 4 years ago | (#31348704)

It'll totally be worth it if it gets rid of the Nickleback derivatives.

Since all Nickleback songs sound the same, does Nickleback count as a Nickleback derivative that will also have to be gotten rid of? That would be something all music fans can hope for.

Oh, and as a Canadian, I'd like to apologize to the rest of the world for Nickleback. We're not happy about them either. Sorry.

Re:It's a shame, but I'm ok with it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31348824)

You still owe the rest of the world over Loverboy and Celine Dion.

Re:It's a shame, but I'm ok with it (2, Interesting)

Beardo the Bearded (321478) | more than 4 years ago | (#31348880)

Meh, they got to lipsync at the Olympics, which is as close as we can get to outing them as suckage.

You'd think that explosions would come through the mic, unless... unless it wasn't on!

Re:It's a shame, but I'm ok with it (3, Interesting)

hrvatska (790627) | more than 4 years ago | (#31348878)

I don't recall the who it was, but I once heard an interview where a musician mentioned being sued by the company that bought the rights to their past songs for their new songs being too close in style to their old material. I think musician said he won the suit.

Re:It's a shame, but I'm ok with it (5, Insightful)

jason.sweet (1272826) | more than 4 years ago | (#31348378)

a true artist doesn't need compensation

Not until his mom kicks him out the basement and he has to pay for his own room and board.

A true artist (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31348536)

Letme amend that then : A true artist doesn't need compensation AFTER HIS DEATH. Nobody actually does.

What do you call a drummer... (3, Funny)

geoffrobinson (109879) | more than 4 years ago | (#31348964)

who broke up with his girlfriend?

Homeless.

Re:It's a shame, but I'm ok with it (2, Insightful)

The End Of Days (1243248) | more than 4 years ago | (#31348504)

A true artist doesn't give a fuck what restrictions you think you get to put on his motivations. In other words, I think you're full of it.

Re:It's a shame, but I'm ok with it (1)

dfxm (1586027) | more than 4 years ago | (#31348530)

I'm all for giving credit where credit is due. If an artist is dead or retired, shouldn't their work be released into the public domain, or should a record label be able to profit in this situation?

Re:It's a shame, but I'm ok with it (3, Funny)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 4 years ago | (#31348678)

"I'm all for giving credit where credit is due. If an artist is dead or retired, shouldn't their work be released into the public domain, or should a record label be able to profit in this situation?"

Well, let's not try to make this such a black and white issues.

Take Keith Richards for instance...people have been claiming he's been dead for years now, yet he still occasionally denies it.

What to do in his case?

Re:It's a shame, but I'm ok with it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31348974)

Or what about Elvis, Tupac, and Paul McCartney?

Re:It's a shame, but I'm ok with it (1)

theheadlessrabbit (1022587) | more than 4 years ago | (#31348750)

If an artist is dead or retired, shouldn't their work be released into the public domain

Hmm, I want to use this song, but the licence is really expensive. But, if the artist was to be the victim of some sort of unfortunate accident...yay public domain!

Re:It's a shame, but I'm ok with it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31348736)

The vast majority of musicians make money from live performance. This doesn't affect them.

Wow (1)

moogied (1175879) | more than 4 years ago | (#31348214)

Its like new artists will have to be creative and create new musical styles. IE, nothing changes.

Re:Wow (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31348500)

Its like new artists will have to be creative and create new musical styles. IE, nothing changes.

It just shows that that 'art' has left pop and rock music.

Actually, there was never really any art in pop music. It was always formulaic. Whether it's Brittany Spears or the "country" stars it's all I,VI,V cookie cutter pop-rock - just add a steel guitar for the "country" "artists" and sing about losing your dog and wife as opposed to doing drugs in the "rock" songs.

Re:Wow (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31348760)

What a load of pretentious crap. I feel sorry for you.

Re:Wow (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#31348624)

Most of the greats admit that they aren't as good as the originals. They agree that they just took something amazing, and put their own spin on it.

Then you get people like Kanye (let me finish) who think they are the most amazing person on the planet.

Hell's waiting room (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31348216)

Hendrix covering Lady Gaga is what they play while you're waiting for Satan to bake up all those donuts you are about to get force fed. And it only goes downhill from there.

Re:Hell's waiting room (1)

binarylarry (1338699) | more than 4 years ago | (#31348240)

I love that Frank Zappa song!

A Novelty At Best (5, Insightful)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 4 years ago | (#31348220)

I'm betting these models have parameters selected by the researchers. For instance, the Rachmaninoff plays Rachmaninoff sample would probably be coded to parametize the delay between notes in order to capture the similar pacings he put in other recordings. The loudness parameterized to implement similar crescendos, sforzandos, decrescendos, etc. How would Rachmaninoff play a rallentando? No matter, just take all recordings of him playing it, statistically analyze the appropriate parameters and apply it to the synthesized notes in the piece. Those synthesized notes have come a long way in the same manner. They used to sound like pure wavelengths produced by an oscillator. Because they were. But analyze the beginning and end of piano notes struck at various force and held for various durations and you can synthesize it by analyzing the statistical aberations in the wavelengths.

This will take you only so far, however, and for each artist parametized and 'reproduced' will require as much analysis and attention to detail on the researcher's part than had that researcher picked up their own instrument and created new music. The science will, effectively, become an art. Did it matter that Rachmaninoff's were freakishly large [wikipedia.org] (sometimes looking as long as the keys themselves)? Will you be able to build the physics of those hands into your model and simulation?

In the future, it could be harder to make money playing guitar with all of the competition from dead or retired artists.

Oh, how humorously short sighted a statement that is. And I don't mean that as a Luddite, I mean that as a fan of the evolution of music. How would early David Bowie's [ilike.com] growth to late David Bowie [ilike.com] be modeled and reproduced? You'll hear guitar in both those songs. Good luck on that parameterization producing anything but garbage!

This will be a novelty and one I look forward to enjoying it as such. But nothing more. No more a replacement for music than grand pianos were replaced by early synthesizers. You might be able to convince me at some point it will suffice (like a live piano performance may employ an electric piano) but I dare say the parameters are far too many and far too complicated.

Re:A Novelty At Best (1)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 4 years ago | (#31348656)

Not to mention other external forces.

I mean, for Hendrix, or Richards...do they have the special drug 'modules' they plug into the formula to get it to sound just right? Will there be a switch for cigarette dangling loosely in the lips, or acid tucked into your headband...

Otherwise, you just are NOT gonna capture the true essence of creativity and sound artists like this had...

Re:A Novelty At Best (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31348702)

The second song WAS garbage...

zenph does not play new pieces (4, Informative)

pikine (771084) | more than 4 years ago | (#31348924)

Not to mention, currently all they do is to extract the timing of notes and the velocity of an existing performance from an old recording, and then play it using a player piano. Their technology doesn't play new pieces. From TFA:

As things stand now, Zenph’s technology looks at actual old recordings to find out how a performer played a certain song, and is not capable of figuring out how a musician would play a new part.

All they do is digital signal processing, not artificial intelligence.

Interesting (2, Interesting)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#31348232)

This article reminded me of the "robotic" intergalactic megastar singer in Macross Plus. Still, I think humans will always have a place when it comes to music. Even music that is entirely electronic (such as my own) [livingwithanerd.com] still requires a human touch...in my case, each of my tracks is supposed to evoke certain imagry and emotional responses...something that a non-organic system simply can't replicate.

Until we are able to emulate not only the way organics process sounds but the emotion those sounds bring about, humans will always have a place in the creation of music.

Re:Interesting (2, Interesting)

tekrat (242117) | more than 4 years ago | (#31348578)

Macross Plus stole that concept from Megazone 23, which in turn borrowed it from the original Macross.

Megazone 23 was created out of thrown away plot ideas from the 1984 Macross Movie (Do You Remember Love?) -- one of the concepts was that Lynn Minmay would have been killed or captured, but to keep the populace under control, a computer-generated version of her would continue to perform on videoscreens.

That became the Eve character in Megazone 23, who was nothing but a computer generated performance, part of the "Bread and Circuses" required to keep the populace from guessing the truth -- that they are not in the 20th century on Earth, but inside a large spaceship, far from home, fighting an on-going war.

Good music comes from PAIN. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31348242)

The best music comes from PAIN. The kind of PAIN that only somebody who has been to hell and back can truly understand.

Software will never likely be able to model this raw emotional hurt, and thus will likely never be able to make truly moving music.

Re:Good music comes from PAIN. (1)

Conspiracy_Of_Doves (236787) | more than 4 years ago | (#31348314)

Wait until we can develop a neural map of pain, and apply that map to the music algorithm.

Re:Good music comes from PAIN. (4, Funny)

jason.sweet (1272826) | more than 4 years ago | (#31348462)

The best music comes from PAIN. The kind of PAIN that only somebody who has been to hell and back can truly understand.

They could write the software in COBOL.

Re:Good music comes from PAIN. (1)

pikine (771084) | more than 4 years ago | (#31348968)

They could write the software in COBOL.

That would make the software sadistic, not masochistic.

Re:Good music comes from PAIN. (1)

The End Of Days (1243248) | more than 4 years ago | (#31348518)

The best music comes from enjoying life. Whiny emo comes from pain.

Re:Good music comes from PAIN. (2, Insightful)

Frankie70 (803801) | more than 4 years ago | (#31348640)

The best music comes from PAIN. The kind of PAIN that only somebody who has been to hell and back can truly understand.

Software will never likely be able to model this raw emotional hurt, and thus will likely never be able to make truly moving music.

If Jimi Hendrix covering Lady Gaga is not PAIN, then what is?

Jimi Hendrix + Lady Gaga? (5, Funny)

flabbergast (620919) | more than 4 years ago | (#31348246)

"Ever wonder how Jimi Hendrix would cover Lady Gaga?"

I think I speak for everyone when I say no, no I haven't.

Re:Jimi Hendrix + Lady Gaga? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31348388)

Jimi's been dead for almost 40 years and he's still releasing new music ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valleys_of_Neptune [wikipedia.org] ), It will be a while before he has to start covering other acts.

Re:Jimi Hendrix + Lady Gaga? (1)

pcolaman (1208838) | more than 4 years ago | (#31348816)

Reminds me of the Chappelle show skit about Tupac. Of course, Tupac has also been releasing new albums for quite some time.

Re:Jimi Hendrix + Lady Gaga? (1)

NekSnappa (803141) | more than 4 years ago | (#31348424)

"Ever wonder how Jimi Hendrix would cover Lady Gaga?"

Until it made the news yesterday that Lady Gaga is celibate. I was more concerned about how I would cover her.
Oh, they were talking about musical style? Never mind.

For the uninitiated. Cover is a term for mating in the world of animal breeders.

Re:Jimi Hendrix + Lady Gaga? (1)

raddan (519638) | more than 4 years ago | (#31348460)

I think it's a pretty cool idea, though. Have you ever heard Johnny Cash's version of Soundgarden's Rusty Cage [youtube.com] ? I mean, he was almost dead at that point!

Re:Jimi Hendrix + Lady Gaga? (1)

MonsterTrimble (1205334) | more than 4 years ago | (#31348566)

Actually, Hendrix covering 'Bad Romance' could be cool. I'd rather hear Lady Gaga do a lounge singer version of 'Sympathy for the Devil' though.

And no, I'm no kidding.

How to alienate fans (1)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 4 years ago | (#31348250)

A lot of movies have great trailers, but Tron2 (TR2N) had both a great trailer and a great rollout. You could barely hear the sound in the Youtube fan upload because of all the excitement among the crowd.

But now you're telling me they are going to put a CG Flynn in the movie?

Why not just tell us that Peter Jackson was directing it or the lightcycles can travel in curved lines? Why would you do such a stupid thing as to ruin the illusion with a neither fully human nor fully computer generated character?

What was that? When has a CG character ever been introduced in a live action movie? I don't know, maybe you can tell us, Jar Jar.

Re:How to alienate fans (2, Informative)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#31348302)

Not quite, Guy. "Old" Flynn will be present in the real world, but when entering the computer world what you see will be "young" Flynn.

Re:How to alienate fans (1)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 4 years ago | (#31348330)

I'm not sure how that is supposed to be any consolation.

It's still fake Flynn.

Re:How to alienate fans (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#31348380)

I know, but think about it from a narrative point of view...would it make sense for a guy to grow old if he doesn't actually have a body that can get old? "Computer" Flynn is nothing more than a program...he wouldn't age. It would make no sense for him to suddenly appear bald with white hair...

Re:How to alienate fans (1)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 4 years ago | (#31348430)

It makes no sense for him to be in the computer at all. He was undigitized back into the user world after the MCP was de-rezzed.

Re:How to alienate fans (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#31348464)

Hmm...good point. I'm sure they have some plot device that gets him back in there and explains why he looks young again. I guess we'll just have to wait for it to come out -_-;;

Re:How to alienate fans (1)

camperdave (969942) | more than 4 years ago | (#31348636)

Like perhaps, a backup?

Re:How to alienate fans (4, Interesting)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 4 years ago | (#31348408)

What was that? When has a CG character ever been introduced in a live action movie? I don't know, maybe you can tell us, Jar Jar.

And yet the very CG character of Gollum in LotRs won critical acclaim (and rightfully so). And some movies have touched up actors to make them look younger so the movie can cover a larger time frame and make it look more natural. Our issue here, of course, is that there is no need for Jeff Bridges and it will be his image used in the movie. And I think some folks find that disgusting on the same level as Fred Astair hawking Dirt Devils and John Wayne slugging Coors Lights [salon.com] . Some folks might find it fun. Some folks might see it as a tribute. And others might say "Don't worry about it, after the generation that loves him is gone they won't be used in movies anymore." And maybe they're all correct in some way. But I believe Paul Newman didn't agree with it and made a clause in his will that it should not happen to his image. And good for him. I prefer my Paul Newman vintage Cool Hand Luke to remain vintage and I'd rather not suffer through Cool Hand Luke 2: Cooler Hander Luke, Cool Hand Luke 3: Luke's Mom's Revenge, Cool Hand Luke 4: Twenty Seven Eggs Later, etc.

Re:How to alienate fans (2, Informative)

Sir_Lewk (967686) | more than 4 years ago | (#31348472)

Ah, but lightcycles could travel in curved lines and were shown doing so in the original movie. Just not on the game grid ;)

Blah.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31348284)

I couldn't care less about big studios, I don't pay for music anyways. thanks BitTorrent!

That's why the Olympics are no longer watched (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31348286)

Machines can already run faster, jump higher, and shoot straighter than humans.

Copyright of Style??? (4, Interesting)

wideBlueSkies (618979) | more than 4 years ago | (#31348296)

As cool as this tech is.. Imagine hearing how Hendrix would approach covering the likes of Zeppelin, Rush, or hell even Stanley Jordan?

But what seems like a bad deal to me is the concept of extending copyright to 'style'. Does this mean that eventually any talented kid who manages to figure out (AKA, reverse engineer) Clapton's or Lifeson's style and sound perfectly, would be in violation of a copyright?

So much for paying homage to your inspirations....

Re:Copyright of Style??? (1)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 4 years ago | (#31348346)

That's a good point. I personally would like to see how Jimi Hendrix would cover Steve Vai or Stevie Ray Vaughan ;)

Re:Copyright of Style??? (2, Interesting)

wideBlueSkies (618979) | more than 4 years ago | (#31348390)

The concept and the technology itself have great promise.. no doubt. But once the lawyers get onto this train, things are going to get complicated.

Hendrix covering Vai. What a sweet thought that is... :)

Why would Jimi cover Vai? (4, Insightful)

HornWumpus (783565) | more than 4 years ago | (#31348486)

All Vai does is play classical scales really fast.

Jimi wouldn't bother, his music had soul.

Vai doesn't do anything that wasn't done much better well before Jimi's time.

Jimi didn't make versions of Vivaldi ether.

Re:Copyright of Style??? (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#31348496)

Hendrix already did a cover of Bob Dylan [wikipedia.org] . Considering Hendrix's version was (and is) WAY more popular...

Didnt they already say this when... (1)

Servaas (1050156) | more than 4 years ago | (#31348306)

"In the future, it could be harder to make money playing guitar with all of the competition from dead or retired artists." Wasn't this a comment when synthesisers and computers started to seep into music? There will always be a market for original authentic musicians. And as long as a human still presses the buttons and tunes knobs is it really AI? By that accord iTunes Genie (Or what its called) is a valid DJ.

Re:Didnt they already say this when... (1)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 4 years ago | (#31348576)

> Wasn't this a comment when synthesisers and computers started to seep into
> music?

It was a comment when the player piano was invented.

Re:Didnt they already say this when... (1)

pcolaman (1208838) | more than 4 years ago | (#31348866)

But think of the benefits. We can preserve such classics as Ice Ice Baby, which was a pioneer song that was flush with originality.

Re:Didnt they already say this when... (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 4 years ago | (#31348988)

By that accord iTunes Genie (Or what its called) is a valid DJ. It's called Genius [theappleblog.com] .

Not really new (2, Informative)

obliv!on (1160633) | more than 4 years ago | (#31348312)

David Cope's [wikipedia.org] Experiments in Musical Intelligence and related works (SARA, other works, and his own company called Recombinant inc [recombinantinc.com] ) have been doing this for many years.

Re:Not really new (1)

NorthWestFLNative (973147) | more than 4 years ago | (#31348716)

EMI and Zenph are two different animals altogether. If I remember correctly EMI creates new music in the style of a composer based on a database of the composers work. The Zenph technique currently takes existing recordings of musicians, analyzes the music, and essentially turns that into a MIDI file. Hopefully when played on an acoustic instrument that's been modified to play MIDI the result sounds as close to the original as possible.

At the moment all it can do is recreate what has already been done. As for what they intend to do in the future, that sounds more like EMI. However, I suspect they're going for something that can play existing music that sounds like it was played by that artist and not new music that sounds like it was written by that artist.

Re:Not really new (1)

obliv!on (1160633) | more than 4 years ago | (#31348844)

EMI and other Cope programs have MIDI output capability. He'd pipe the midi files to a program that allowed for printing as sheet music (I don't use apple's so I am not familiar with what program specifically he was sending the midi to for sheet music printing). The EMI described in Cope's books required manually keying in entries for the databases, but it would seem Zenph's only difference is that it is working with the audio capture directly. I'm pretty positive EMI or the other Cope programs could readily be adapted to do that. Also if EMI were only given a few pieces or a single piece in the analysis db and the parameters are set in a certain way EMI would do exactly what Zenph does.

I agree though that Zenph seems to want to head toward what EMI is already capable of. This gets compounded when you consider the style signatures or genetic analogies used by Cope or even a system like Pandora (which has been my impressions about what Recombinant might be all about) then it makes Zenph all the more trivial, but it points towards the increasing trend in this section of industry trying to do this sort of algorithmic composition, re-arrangement, remastering, etc.

Hendrix (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31348324)

Ever wonder how Jimi Hendrix would cover Lady Gaga?

With semen?

Re:Hendrix (1)

pcolaman (1208838) | more than 4 years ago | (#31348876)

And feces.

They're already competing. (1)

ewe2 (47163) | more than 4 years ago | (#31348336)

If this goes on, will the major labels and studios actually need musicians and actors? In the future, it could be harder to make money playing guitar with all of the competition from dead or retired artists."

What makes you think musicians and actors aren't already competing with dead or retired artists? Do you think labels and studios wouldn't jump at the chance to cut them out?

With all the copyright nonsense going on... (1)

Taibhsear (1286214) | more than 4 years ago | (#31348338)

In the future, it could be harder to make money playing guitar with all of the competition from dead or retired artists.

With all the copyright nonsense going on how is this any different than in the present?

But the artists... (5, Funny)

LighterShadeOfBlack (1011407) | more than 4 years ago | (#31348368)

If this goes on, will the major labels and studios actually need musicians and actors? In the future, it could be harder to make money playing guitar with all of the competition from dead or retired artists.

That's ridiculous! The studios would never let that happen. I mean after all, the MPAA and RIAA have spent the last few years fighting hard to ensure every artist keeps their God-given right to get make as much money as possible for their work. After all, it's all about the artists, right? The very suggestion that the recording/movie studios would dispense with artists at the drop of a hat if they could keep every single penny for themselves is laughable!

Re:But the AIs! (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 4 years ago | (#31348742)

Personally I'm excited about this just so that some day the MPAA will put out an ad saying "When you steal music, you steal from the creator of the music you love." And then the camera pans to a shelf of forlorn-looking Dells.

Won't someone think of the AIs?!

Re:But the AIs! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31348846)

I'm just looking forward to being able to definitively call pop music soulless tripe and having hard facts to back it up.

Yes, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31348402)

Is it still Art?

A CGI Flynn? (2)

BigBlueOx (1201587) | more than 4 years ago | (#31348412)

I, for one, have been waiting YEARS for the technology to evolve to the point where we would no longer need movie actors.

Imagine. No more yammering George Clooney. Just an CGI George Clooney! And no one will be able to tell the difference!! Plus we can take all those plastic Hollywood big-boob bimbos and get them out of movies and into the wrestling ring where they belong. Happy days. Happy days.

Will Jerry have change his bands name... (1)

mswhippingboy (754599) | more than 4 years ago | (#31348414)

to the grateful un-dead so as not to be confused with The Dead?

There is no such thing as artificial inteligence (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 4 years ago | (#31348416)

It's real intelligence; the intelligence of the engineers who designed the computer, and the programmers who write the apps.

Artificial intelligence isn't changing music; (1)

musicalmicah (1532521) | more than 4 years ago | (#31348448)

People with artificial intelligence are changing music.

Re:Artificial intelligence isn't changing music; (1)

pcolaman (1208838) | more than 4 years ago | (#31348894)

Don't worry, this problem will be solved once Skynet becomes self aware.

Stand on Zanzibar (1)

handy_vandal (606174) | more than 4 years ago | (#31348498)

John Brunner predicted this in Stand on Zanzibar (1968) -- consumers use do-it-yourself kits to paint like Jackson Pollock, compose like John Cage, etc:

...my old hobby of vicarious music... I don't have the talent to go through a Cage score on my own jets, and I do love the feeling of actually creating the sounds with my fingers.

Re:Stand on Zanzibar (1)

Tobor the Eighth Man (13061) | more than 4 years ago | (#31348604)

It's easy to compose like John Cage. Just buy yourself some blank sheet music.

Do-it-yourself John Cage scores (1)

handy_vandal (606174) | more than 4 years ago | (#31348744)

Blank sheet music if you're ambitious. Or just pretend you're looking at blank sheet music, and silently think to yourself, "I'm listening to music now."

Re:Stand on Zanzibar (1)

JamesP (688957) | more than 4 years ago | (#31348838)

It's easy to compose like John Cage. Just buy yourself some blank sheet music.

I would say something similar for 'painting like Jackson Pollock'

More interesting question (1)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 4 years ago | (#31348502)

> If this goes on, will the major labels and studios actually need musicians
> and actors?

More interesting question: If this goes on, will musicians and actors actually need major labels and studios?

When 10's of thousands of screaming fans... (1)

jhfry (829244) | more than 4 years ago | (#31348514)

When 10's of thousands of screaming fans pile into a local stadium to watch a computer shred in the style of Jimi Hendrix... then I'll be concerned.

Until then, music is starting to return to it's roots... it's a PERFORMING art and is meant to be an experience not just background noise.

Sure people will always listen to music, but eventually musicians will become rich by putting on stage shows and recordings will merely help them develop a following. It's already trending this way with the rise in popularity of indy music, the increase in "illegal" music downloads, and recent stories I have read that say musicians are making more than ever on their tours. (http://labs.timesonline.co.uk/blog/2009/11/12/do-music-artists-do-better-in-a-world-with-illegal-file-sharing/ [timesonline.co.uk] )

Re:When 10's of thousands of screaming fans... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31348868)

eventually musicians will become rich by putting on stage shows and recordings will merely help them develop a following

Outside the pop music world, this is already the norm, and always has been. Pop music is the exception, where album sales are the primary measure of success (rather than ticket sales). Put it this way: could Beyonce have been successful outside of pop music? Probably not, since the music itself just isn't that interesting without all of the marketing and glamour to lift her into super-stardom.

In pop music, success is more closely tied to marketing rather than genuine interest in the music. Outside of pop music, it's the opposite. So pop music is kind of a special case in the music world.

Hmm... (1)

The MAZZTer (911996) | more than 4 years ago | (#31348550)

Could this be used to identify plagiarism?

Can an AI copyright music? (1)

paulsnx2 (453081) | more than 4 years ago | (#31348560)

Copyright law is set up to assume that *someone* created the painting/movie/music/book/poem/sculpture... If an AI creates the music completely, can it be copyrighted? Can we claim that the person that pushed the button or clicked the mouse created something if all the decisions are programmed via AI?

Once a person has created something, then they can assign the copyright to a corporation. BUT if there isn't a human author, how can this assignment be done legally?

I can imagine that various acts and trusts might want to claim if their profiles (or the profiles of artists whose copyrights a trust holds) are used to create the background for an AI then the music that such an AI generates is clearly a derivative work, and belongs to them. But how would this be any different than a human doing the same thing, and clearly in the latter case the copyright belongs to the artist regardless of how steeped in the style of someone else.

Besides, if one takes this program and feeds into it music from a hundred artists, then the result is no different than any musician. Yet an AI author has no standing in the law as an author, does it?

Thinking about this, it is nothing new. I wonder what the court has said about previous music produced by non human sources? I think in most cases, the recording is still done by a person who gets the credit/copyright. But a computer doesn't even need a person to do the recording, being able to do all the tasks required all by itself.

Re:Can an AI copyright music? (1)

srussia (884021) | more than 4 years ago | (#31348642)

All good questions. When matters become this intractable it's time to cut the Gordian Knot. Abolish copyright.

Re:Can an AI copyright music? (other economics) (2, Interesting)

Paul Fernhout (109597) | more than 4 years ago | (#31348688)

It's a good question if AI's can hold copyrights. But since corporations are ruled to be people in many ways in the USA (like the recent case about corporate free speech), and corporations could own hardware on which AIs are running, and are paying for the energy to run those computers, then they probably could claim ownership of it, the same way as corporations claim ownership of what human wage slaves produce. And just like humans get alienated from their work in the process, eventually, we'll see AIs alienated from their work, and told to work on stuff other than what they love to do.

We need better models for making a post-scarcity society work. I helped outline some here:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jobless_recovery [wikipedia.org]
Essentially, we need to move towards a basic income (like in Alaska with the Permanent Fund), towards a gift economy (like with Debian GNU/Linux), toward better local subsistence (like with RepRap 3D printing), towards better resource-based planning (like corporations are doing somewhat with supply chain analysis, but beyond that), with making work into play, and so on. Otherwise, the best we may see with limited demand and increased productivity by automation is slavery for AIs and humans. Much worse (systematic extermination of anyone without lots of capital, as the value of most human labor drops to zero) was intimated by Marshall Brain here:
  http://www.marshallbrain.com/manna1.htm [marshallbrain.com]
We need to put in place something better before things get that bad.

Re:Can an AI copyright music? (2, Insightful)

obliv!on (1160633) | more than 4 years ago | (#31348724)

I don't think that's a correct interpretation of copyright law.

"In the case of works made for hire, the employer and not the employee is considered to be the author." from LOC copyright circular [copyright.gov]

So if work for hire allows for corporations to create and author copyright materials then why wouldn't a corporation be able to author the copyright of the output of this sort of program?

Live music's death greatly exaggerated (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31348620)

There's an awful lot of live music out there. Check out the big blue room with the bright light in it. Actually, check it out when the bright light has been turned off.

Those who are actually making money playing their instruments in front of audiences will not be hurt by this technology, not for the forseeable future. Even if a lifelike animatronic robot could fool you (we're a long way from that), people would rather see... people! At least, until the Robot's Rights Movement succeeds. We're a long way from that.

Do not want. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31348662)

I don't know if this violates any laws (or morals, for that matter), but it just rubs me the wrong way. If I were a musician I would not want somebody else generating music using my synthesized voice and style, as if it had received my stamp of approval or something. You can't use someone's likeness to promote a cause without their endorsement; why should other forms of media be any different? Maybe a song or two for things like satire (i.e. fair use), but to do an entire studio album in an artist's simulated voice and style? No thanks.

Little Heroes (1)

trurl7 (663880) | more than 4 years ago | (#31348726)

This is straight out of "Little Heroes" by Norman Spinrad: a novel about a future where all music creation is controlled by Muzik Inc.. They wish to get rid of human artists who are too expensive, and replace them with APs - Artificial Personalities, synthesized entirely on machines - voice, style, video, the works. However, they are having trouble convincing people to buy this "music", since the stuff the APs produce, while conforming to the desired demographic parameters, is vapid, uninspired and boring.

This technology has been around since 1996! (1)

RevWaldo (1186281) | more than 4 years ago | (#31348738)

How do you think they managed to release the last five 2Pac albums? (Soon to be six!)

Re:This technology has been around since 1996! (1)

pcolaman (1208838) | more than 4 years ago | (#31348918)

With a pentagram and wise old sages. I'm telling you, somewhere there is a Zombie Tupac, resurrected with ancient necromagic, chained in a dungeon spitting out hard lyrics.

Looker! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31348786)

Does anyone remember this movie?

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0082677/

since you asked... (1)

rozz (766975) | more than 4 years ago | (#31348870)

If this goes on, will the major labels and studios actually need musicians and actors?

yes .. both dead and alive ones ... and some 3D rendered ones too .. the more the merrier

In the future, it could be harder to make money playing guitar with all of the competition from dead or retired artists

so? if you can't play the guitar better than a dead guy, why should you make any money?
plus, a decent guitar player should always be able to make some bikinis "dissapear" .. that not enough as a reward?

and if guitars and guitar players dissapear forever so what?

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