Featured Image for This song was composed by a Google algorithm

This song was composed by a Google algorithm

Google has created an artificial intelligence that can autonomously compose music. It seems Daft Punk are not the only robots in the record industry these days.

Project Magenta is an initiative from the Google Brain team – creators of SmartReply- that seeks to create AI capable of creating compelling art.

Until now, machine learning has been used extensively to scan and understand content, be it images, text, or speech. Google translate is an example of this. Project Magenta wants to go a step further, creating algorithms than can actually learn to create content on their own.

“Can we use machine learning to create compelling art and music?” The Magenta Team pondered. “If so, how? If not, why not?”

One of the results from their research is this 90-second piano melody composed entirely by their software. Although a bit dull and raw to our ears, it’s the beginning of a revolution that will change everything.

“We don’t know what artists and musicians will do with these new tools, but we’re excited to find out. Look at the history of creative tools,” said the Magenta Team.

“Daguerre and later Eastman didn’t imagine what Annie Liebovitz or Richard Avedon would accomplish in photography. Surely Rickenbacker and Gibson didn’t have Jimi Hendrix or St. Vincent in mind.

“We believe that the models that have worked so well in speech recognition, translation and image annotation will seed an exciting new crop of tools for art and music creation.”

The project does open doors for some serious philosophical pondering. What will happen if art is no longer an inherent human trait? How long would it take for the first AI composed single to top the charts? Will robots create better music than Justin Beaver?

Project Magenta is not the first example of machine crafted art. There are already robots that can draw, and there’s an AI that can write poetry.

Back in 2013 indie filmmaker Chris Wilson wrote the short film ‘Do you love me’, with the aid of Cleverbot. Earlier this year, a group of filmmakers spearheaded by Oscar Sharp fed an artificial intelligence with dozens of iconic Sci-fi screenplays so it could write ‘Sunspring’ for the Sci-Fi London film festival.

While Project Magenta is certainly not the first to tackle this area of investigation, their progress so far is promising. And with Google’s massive resources behind it, they will surely end up with some extraordinary advancements.

The Brain Team will eventually release all their models and tools on Google’s GitHub, and in the near future, they will receive code contributions from the public.

About the author

Filmmaker. 3D artist. Procrastination guru. I spend most of my time doing VFX work for my upcoming film Servicios Públicos, a sci-fi dystopia about robots, overpopulated cities and tyrant states. @iampineros