Artificial intelligence program composes music

Global Business

Tech companies have been touting Artificial Intelligence as a technology that can potentially make driving safer or even detect disease more accurately.

But academics at San Jose State are looking into another aspect of A.I. that you might find quite surprising. Can it foster creativity.

CGTN’s Mark Niu reports.

Computer Science Professor Maya Ackerman is an expert on Artificial Intelligence and a trained vocalist.

She sings a poem written by poet Emily Dickinson with the melody composed by ALYSIA –an Artificial Intelligence-driven program that learns from of thousands of songs.

“I’ve been stuck on being able to come up with original melodies for a long time despite the fact that I had the technical expertise for it for years,” Ackerman said. “It just never occurred to me to think of a computer being able to do anything creative and to help me be creative in a meaningful way. And I thought wow, we can make a system that’s going to help me come up with songs.”

ALYSIA, which generates melodies for lyrics you provide, will be coming out online and as an app some time this year. Just type in your lines and it spits out melody choices that go along with your words.

Ackerman has held concerts using ALYSIA generated songs. An Art Professor is even using an offshoot of ALYSIA, named Roboccini, because it trains on the work of Italian Opera Composer Giacomo Puccini –to create music for World of Warcraft gaming videos.

“Collaborating with an artificial intelligence to come up with these melodies is new. And it’s really exciting. And when I say collaborate I really mean collaborate,” James Morgan, Art Professor at San Jose State University said.

“Sometimes Roboccini is a bit of a jerk, but most of the time it’s flexible and it accommodates what I want.”

Now ALYSIA also has a new computational collaborator Mable, which uses artificial intelligence to generate song lyrics. In most cases, Mable comes up with every other line. “Computers have trouble coming up with high level structure,” Ackerman said.

“So a lot of work in natural language processing… sure it could come up with a beautiful sentence, but it’s hard to come up with something that’s coherent, something that makes sense. But we were able to create a system that creates coherent lyrics that tell stories.”

Which song do you like better?

Listen to Maya Ackerman perform the song Beautiful Memory, with melody created by AI program ALYSIA and words (every other line) written by AI program Mable.

And here’s a three-line song reporter Mark Niu wrote, while AI program ALYSIA came up with the melody.

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