Watch: Sony released two new songs from an unsigned AI



  • Creative machines should be decades away but they’re here, today, and increasingly it looks like “creativity” is just another word for “algorithm”


Sony recently announced that they’ve released two brand new pop songs from a new, unsigned artist, and while the announcement shouldn’t seem even worth noting, after all, Sony’s one of the world’s largest music company’s with over $5 billion in revenues, these songs were different. They’re arguably the future of music, but it’s not because of their content, it’s because the unsigned artist… well, it’s an artificial intelligence (AI). And that’s bad news if you’re an artist…


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Analysts, pah to analysts by the way, futurists rule, have told us for decades that creative machines wouldn’t appear on the horizon until at least the 2040’s but as ever technology moves faster than expected, and now Son’y AI is simply one of a number of new creative machines I’ve seen emerge. Now check out the first one called “Daddy’s Car” created in the style of The Beatles.


Daddy’s Car

This particular song was created by the folks at Sony’s CSL Research Laboratory using a piece of software they call “Flow Machines.”

So you might be wondering how it works, so let me enlighten you… the Flow Machines software learns music styles from an exhaustive catalogue of songs, then simply exploits unique combinations of styles as well as optimisation and interaction techniques which it uses to compose music in just about any style or genre.


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The second pop song, below, is called “The Ballad of Mr. Shadow” which is apparently a hat tip to our new AI overlords. The song was created in the style of American songwriters like Duke Ellington, Cole Porter, George Gershwin, and Irving Berlin, among others.


The Ballad of Mr. Shadow

Naturally Sony aren’t the only company playing around with AI to create new music, Google have a musical AI called Magenta, that I wrote about a while ago. However, unlike Google though Sony have said that they plan on releasing the world’s first fully composed AI album later this year so watch out folks – an AI could soon be topping the Billboard charts.

Tell me what you think of the songs in the comments, and remember this is just the beginning…

About author

Matthew Griffin

Matthew Griffin, Futurist and Founder of the 311 Institute is described as “The Adviser behind the Advisers.” Among other things Matthew keeps busy helping the world’s largest smartphone manufacturers ideate the next five generations of smartphones, and what comes beyond, the world’s largest chip makers envision the next twenty years of intelligent machines, and is helping Europe’s largest energy companies re-invent energy generation, transmission and retail.

Recognised in 2013, 2015 and 2016 as one of Europe’s foremost futurists, innovation and strategy experts Matthew is an award winning author, entrepreneur and international speaker who has been featured on the BBC, Discovery and other outlets. Working hand in hand with accelerators, investors, governments, multi-nationals and regulators around the world Matthew helps them envision the future and helps them transform their industries, products and go to market strategies, and shows them how the combination of new, democratised, powerful emerging technologies are helping accelerate cultural, industrial and societal change.

Matthew’s clients include Accenture, Bain & Co, Bank of America, Blackrock, Booz Allen Hamilton, Boston Consulting Group, Dell EMC, Dentons, Deutsche Bank, Deloitte, Deutsche Bank, Du Pont, E&Y, Fidelity, Goldman Sachs, HPE, Huawei, JP Morgan Chase, KPMG, Lloyds Banking Group, McKinsey & Co, PWC, Qualcomm, Rolls Royce, SAP, Samsung, Schroeder’s, Sequoia Capital, Sopra Steria, UBS, the UK’s HM Treasury, the USAF and many others.

  • Joe Guy#1

    23rd April 2017

    Not bad. More to come

    • Matthew Griffin#2

      23rd April 2017

      Thanks Joe, you’re right – much, much more to come so watch out for the first AI to have a number one hit. That’ll make the headlines for sure but you heard it here first 😉


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