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Google's Magenta creates its first AI song © iStock

Google's Magenta creates its first AI song

Published: 02nd June, 2016 at 14:00
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Fear not musicians, Google’s new machine learning music and art project unlikely to replace you anytime soon.

Google aren’t content with just dominating search, building self-driving cars and controlling your home; now they want to replace the likes of Picasso and Lionel Ritchie by making computer generated art and music.


We’ve already seen DeepDream, Google’s surreal tool that turns any image into something surreal, psychedelic and moderately nightmarish, but their new project, called Magenta, aims to advance machine intelligence into something that is able to generate “compelling” music and art.

Their first attempt is definitely something, maybe not compelling but it is a start we suppose, and given it had only four notes to play with (the drums were added afterwards) it’s not totally awful.

Actually, we’re not sure even Adele blurting her lungs over the top of it could help this number in the charts, but as Google point out this is just the beginning. As they mention in their blog post: “Surely Rickenbacker and Gibson didn’t have Jimi Hendrix or St. Vincent in mind.”

By using their TensorFlow open source software for machine learning and releasing the code on GitHub, Google hope that this will allow developers and musicians to use Magenta to create something new and original with the algorithms.

They also hope that in the future musicians will be able to play along with music generated by Magenta in a live setting. That could be music to the ears of these two…


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Alexander McNamaraOnline Editor, BBC Science Focus

Alexander is the former Online Editor at BBC Science Focus.


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