You walk downstairs in your pyjamas on a lazy sunday, open the french doors to your balcony overlooking the cityscape and put on the radio. The radio presenter introduces the new chart topper, the number one song composed by a robot. You look down onto the street and a robot is playing music tailored to your taste, something so beautiful it sends goosebumps down your spine. Looking down at the newspaper, one of the headlines announce how artificial intelligence is contributing to the music stream subscriptions and going to performances of artists. The prospect seems like something out of a sci fi movie, but futurist Ray Kurzweil believes it could be done by 2045.
On November 23rd 2016 at “Music’s Smart Future” at BPI’s headquarters in London, Ed Newton from Jukedeck announced that his company had created and innovated artificial intelligence so advanced that it had composed music, or 500,000 tracks to be precise. Of course, when I first read this, I had to do my research, how could artificial intelligence be so developed all of a sudden? But the more I looked into it, the more I found AI is being used already in Spotify, Apple Music and Deezer. They’re used to pick similar songs, you the consumer, would probably like to listen to. Other companies like Google Play have gone a step further by measuring the weather, where you are and if you’re taking part in activity or not, all to give the best recommendations.
Marketing campaigns involving Bastille’s second album were set up by chatbots, where you would be able to message the “band”. Robbie Williams and Olly Murs have also used chatbots to promote their work, and tailor a response to you as if the band would. So what does this mean for the future of music?
In the report produced by Jukedeck, it outlined that the artificial intelligence could be very beneficial to the music industry, that “gut instinct, passion for the music and human experience remain fundamental qualities in A&R and marketing, but as a sector we should not ignore new tools that allow us to reach fans in innovative new ways” however I remain skeptical, if Jukedeck have developed technology to the point they say they have, surely they would want it to be successful and make a distinct profit? An article on Music Ally describe the “next Napster moment, but much bigger”, but it doesn’t look like we have to wait long until we find out the full impact.
Words Amy Heddle