The European royalty surely enjoyed the prodigious music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Mozart, a well-known figurine from the western history, reflected ‘innate’ talent for classical music since his childhood. He used to showcase his melodies at the Salzburg Court, and decided to grow from there on. His best-known symphonies, operas, and concertos were composed during his final years. Till date, he is listed as a musical genius. And speaking of that list, Beethoven’s name cannot be forgotten!
For those who love to indulge in pure romantic and emotive music, Ludwig Van Beethoven left behind some great and renowned musical work. A German composer and Pianist, Beethoven is a crucial figure from the Classical Western art music of the 18th and 19th century. His famous ‘Symphony Orchestra’ is well known and loved even today! But why are we suddenly discussing music geniuses from the history? Maybe because the way brilliant musical pieces are created will be changed forever! Yes, advanced Artificial Intelligence promises the melody lovers worldwide to generate genius musical artwork once again!
Music, musicians, and people of the past
Musicians poured efforts throughout their lives to create epic masterpieces in the past centuries. They still do. It can be observed that great musical artists like Mozart, Beethoven, Vivaldi, etc. became great because they were ‘Monomaths.’ That means their knowledge, efforts, talent, and energy was focused on only one subject, i.e., Music. The audience at that time did not have much choice too! They were limited by the number of musical styles, instruments and genuine talent (Which to be honest was rare). And the royal and elite classes savored these creative gems with a monopoly.
But, has the scenario changed today? The musical paradigm is taking a massive shift. We are not limited by anything except creative talent. And artificial intelligence is driving it in the 21st century.
Music of the 21st century
A society that is driven by the high-speed internet, where business and personal relationships are powered by the world-wide-web, it can be said that people have access to infinite information and a huge listicle of choices. Music lovers have more options in music to suit their varying tastes. Maybe you like Chinese instruments, or German EDM or even retro country music. Whatever your choice is, intelligent ‘Genies’ (Search engines) fulfill your wish within a blink of an eye.
So, the cultures are merging, and the world is becoming a more connected and smaller place. From teenage pop singers to global music performers, as a music enthusiast, you have seamless access to all their musical pieces. And all of our choices, preferences, tastes, and opinions about the music are being carefully observed online! And not only being observed, ‘someone’ or ‘something’ is learning from it. The sophisticated AI systems are behind the stage ready to create musical masterpieces of modern times.
AI, the next musical genius
It is the impeccable quality of Artificial Intelligence to be able to learn. And it learns through rapid iterations, trials, and errors. The amount of time a human being takes to master anything (Music, technical sciences, and other fields) is just a deep breath for an AI. For example, IBM’S Watson can spit out all the research on Cancer done till date, a task impossible for any human to this day [Source].
Machine Learning has empowered AI to learn from the mistakes, just as we learn from ours. Experience, knowledge, memories, problem solving, creative flair, focus, basic needs, health, and freedom are the ingredients needed for a person to become great at something. An AI system, on the other hand, can ‘train’ and ‘simulate’ brilliant work in a matter of hours. In fact, this has already been done. ‘I AM AI,’ a track fully composed and produced by an AI system called ‘Amper’ was released on August 21st, 2017. Amper is the modern AI music producer, composer, and performer.
How AI designs and produces music?
Google has also taken a step forward in building AI systems capable of displaying creative work. For example, Google’s Magenta AI is designed to create compelling music and artwork. According to the experts, an AI system employs different machine-learning techniques and algorithms. It can use supervised or unsupervised learning, recurrent neural networks or convolutional neural networks, etc. In essence, varying combinations of learning techniques, algorithms and ‘type of examples fed to train it,’ i.e., tones, symphonies, music tracks, etc. helps an AI to produce marvelous artwork. But, do not rule out the necessary Human-in-the-loop intervention! AIs are not fully autonomous as of now, so humans have their credit due here as well!
The future: Nexus of creative humans and musical machines
Any form of art reflects the simple yet complex conditions of life as we know it. And music, for many, is a therapy to unburden the soul. So what does the future hold for us? When the machines are becoming intelligently creative, and human counterparts are aiding them, there is only one possibility. The combined abilities and creative genius of the people and AI will lead to a collaborative nexus in the upcoming time. Remember the examples of Magenta and Amper.
This is just a beginning. Who knows when a Cyborg-singer and a human singer will be competing in a reality show! Or music lovers will be able to take the assistance of an AI and create music according to their taste! This fusion of the human-machine talent is sure to revolutionize the domain of epic creativity that is music.