This British startup is using artificial intelligence to compose music

Louis Dor
Tuesday 24 January 2017 14:00
Showbiz
Picture:(John Phillips/Getty Images for TechCrunch)

Jukedeck is but one of a number of services including artificial intelligence (AI) in music composition.

The service, which enables people to commission a certain length, mood and format for a small fee, relies on AI to generate a track.

In September, DeepMind, the Google-owned artificial intelligence firm, released a series of ten second tracks their AI had composed and performed.

Jukedeck has been composing entire songs to specification since 2015.

The pair behind the service, Patrick Stobbs and Ed Newton-Rex, came up with the idea while studying at Cambridge, after Rex visited his girlfriend at Harvard and attended a computer science lecture that convinced him the enterprise was possible.

They initially raised £625,000 from Cambridge Enterprise and Cambridge Innovation Capital.

Now they've been used by 20 acts as inspiration launchpad, and been commissioned by the British division of Coca-Cola among other corporations, to accompany videos.

Since they operate at a fraction of the cost of commissioning a musician, and JukeDeck's software can write to a specific duration, they're an incredibly attractive alternative for soundtracks and advertising.

There are some limitations however. The software does not write lyrics, only instrumentals, and is limited to a handful of genres and moods.

Take a listen, in the playlist, below:

At the moment, it seems, mainstream music composition is still very much in the hands of the humans.

So where do they see potential growth?

Newton-Rex told the New York Times:

Recorded music’s brilliant, but it’s static.

If you’re playing a game, Hans Zimmer isn’t sitting with you composing.

I think responsive systems like that will be a big part of the music of the future.

HT New York Times

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