OpenAI creates MuseNet, an artificial intelligence music program

OpenAI has been in the news quite a lot recently. From defeating champion eSports teams in strategy game “Dota 2” to crafting human-like writing, the AI software is making a significant splash in the tech world. In the eyes of the general public, opinions are split.

Some find the technology to be frightening while others find it remarkable. Perhaps OpenAI’s newest project, an online tool called MuseNet, can make the software seem more approachable. After all, MuseNet is an AI tool that creates something everyone loves: music.

Gaga To Classical

No matter what genre listeners are craving, MuseNet can compose musical pieces based on either online sources it’s already heard or user-uploaded tracks. Giving the deep neural network something to listen to allows it to begin learning and replicating the style of the sample. Researchers behind the development of MuseNet claim the software can create music in 15 styles.

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Everything from Lady Gaga to the classical Mozart and from jazz to video game music is covered. The AI system works by paying attention to music over extended periods of time rather than short bits like humans do. By doing so, the neural network is able to follow a style of music rather closely without simply copying a track or blending melodies together.

Of course, this technology is impressive but it is far from perfect. For example, as MuseNet begins playing a song it may sound quite good. However, as it gets further and further from the origin piece, sounds begin to jumble and the “music” becomes something only a robot would listen to.

Anyone can listen to a concert of songs created by the AI or experiment with it themselves on OpenAI’s website.

Promising Technology

Despite the shortcomings of MuseNet, it still carries an extremely high potential for revolutionizing the way tomorrow’s music will be created. The success of OpenAI projects has been seen across many areas so there is no reason to believe this project won’t follow suit. The makers of MuseNet plan to keep the tool online for everyone until mid-May. After that, the software will be partially open-sourced.

Though it is nothing more than a cool project right now, the potential legal ramifications of AI composing are complicated. When users start creating, refining, and marketing songs created with technology like MuseNet, the question of who owns the music arises. Currently, there is no clear answer.

As more and more people start playing with AI composing tools the problem will only grow. Should this method of music production go mainstream, regulation of some sort will be necessary to avoid costly lawsuits. This will be beneficial for both artists and the teams behind tools like MuseNet.

Legal issues aside, this is a truly fascinating technology. AI is a booming field that currently shows no signs of slowing down. Now experts in gaming, writing, and now music, consumers have to wonder: what will OpenAI tackle next?

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