WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF
One day AI’s will produce high enough quality music that rivals the music produced by human artists, who will then have to compete against it for record deals.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is slowly but surely infiltrating every industry and weaving its way into every corner of our daily lives, and the creative industry is no exception. Whether we’re using AI to design video games and even cities, or using it to produce art, books, movies, music, news and fake news, or replace human bloggers and influencers. But in the latest turn of events an AI called Endel that creates music has just been signed by major record label Warner Music Group, and let’s face it it’s not going to be the last, and as creative machines get better at producing content it means that humans are going to have a new competitor.
And, to that point, Endel isn’t the only music AI that’s getting noticed – AI’s including the superb Amper, DeepBach, Jukebox in collaboration with Sony Music, and Magenta from Google, are also getting noticed for their ability to create everything from awesome pop hits to classical music.
In Endel’s case it’s been signed to create 20 albums this year alone, alongside the five albums that the algorithm’s already created. In short, Endel creates personalized soundscapes for users depending on a series of personal factors, promising to help users focus while working, or relax after work.
Mood music has become a staple of culture with lo-fi, classical, and meditative playlists gaining millions of followers and listens from everyone from the late night school student to the worker who needs to drone out their annoying coworkers in the office.
Currently available on smartphones and via Amazon Echo, Endel has garnered a lot of attention across the world thanks to their technology, attracting investors like Amazon’s Alexa Fund, Japan’s Avex Ventures and Major Lazer’s Jillionaire, among others.
The albums to be released highlight how AI could change music. CEO and founder Oleg Stavitsky expressed this sentiment when he stated, “We are focused on creating personalized and adaptive real-time sound environments, but we are happy to share those pre-recorded albums to demonstrate the power of sound and our technology.”
So this begs the question, how does Endel work? Now, Endel is not the first AI creative superstar to grace the internet. AVIA (Artificial Intelligence Virtual Artist) composed a catchy AI rock soundtrack that went viral. While Generative Adversarial Network generated a painting that sold for $432,000.
Endel’s creative power comes from its ability to use machine learning to create personalized soundscapes and tracks. Factors and personal inputs such as time of day, location, heart rate, and weather are used to create custom sound frequencies to enhance one’s mood towards sleep, relaxation, and focus.
The German company is a strong believer of the impact of sound on one’s physiological and psychological well being. Using well-documented research the team understands that sounds like white noise help infants sleep while relaxing sounds reduce stress and anxiety reducing the heart rate and blood pressure.
Endel utilizes your biological clock to create more precise mood music while using the pentatonic scale to create simple sounds that are a joy to listen to throughout the day. The German team also uses Endel’s sound engine to mask distracting sounds.
Endel is designed to be integrated across various platforms and has a host of applications in a variety of industries. The algorithm could be used to create “chillout areas”, making it perfect for public spaces, galleries, and clubs, and the company is already working on ways to improve the wellbeing experience of workspaces and currently looking into the application of soundscapes in autonomous transportation as well.