Artificial Intelligence Tries to Prove Creativity, Composes Full “Songs”

artificial intelligence, robots play jazz music, DARPA

You know that artificial intelligence needs more direction when people start designing systems to do things that are generally reserved for creative minds. But that’s exactly what they’re doing at SONY CSL Research Laboratory with FlowMachines.

Guided by human musician Benoît Carré, FlowMachines takes its raw data from a database of 13,000 songs and then creates a “leadsheet” of its own, which is then arranged and produced by Carré.

So far they’re written two songs – one called Daddy’s Car in the style of The Beatles, and another called Mr. Shadow in the style of classic American songwriters like Cole Porter and lyricist Ira Gershwin.

In all honesty, it’s very obvious that the songs have been created by “computers” rather than real musicians. On the one side, I’m happy that artificial intelligence has come a long way, but on the other, I think it’s come a long way in the wrong direction.

Artificial Intelligence – Why Music?

I might be way out of line here but isn’t artificial intelligence supposed to be focused on more value-rich activities like delivering food to innocent civilians in war-torn regions of the world using unmanned drones, or something to that effect?

The use of AI in music or any of the arts is wasted effort, in my humble opinion. We’re not at a stage where we’ve solved all major global problems and can now move on to more pleasurable pursuits like AI-composed music.

I’m not sure where Sony is going with this, but being an entertainment and electronics company may have logically led it to this point. But it’s not just Sony. Even the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is trying to teach robots how to play jazz music. But at least there’s some thread of logic there because jazz improvisation requires split-second decision-making and spontaneous actions that cannot be programmed beforehand. This would make some very interesting characteristics for future war machines, obviously.

As for Sony’s FlowMachines, we’ll still have to wait and see if this technology catches on and people start dancing to AI music soon, but you already have my two cents.

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