ou may have noticed the world getting excited about the capabilities of ChatGPT, a text-based AI chat bot. Similarly, some are getting quite worked up over generative AI systems that can turn text prompts into images, including those mimicking the style of particular artists. But less remarked upon is the use of AI in the world of music. Music Business Worldwide has written two detailed news stories on the topic. The first comes from China:
Tencent Music Entertainment (TME) says that it has created and released over 1,000 tracks containing vocals created by AI tech that mimics the human voice.
And get this: one of these tracks has already surpassed 100 million streams.
Some of these songs use synthetic voices based on human singers, both dead and alive:
TME also confirmed today (November 15) that – in addition to “paying tribute” to the vocals of dead artists via the Lingyin Engine – it has also created “an AI singer lineup with the voices of trending [i.e currently active] stars such as Yang Chaoyue, among others”.
The copyright industry will doubtless have something to say about that. It is also unlikely to be delighted by the second Music Business Worldwide story about AI-generated music, this time in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) market:
MENA-focused Spotify rival, Anghami, is now taking the concept to a whole other level – claiming that it will soon become the first platform to host over 200,000 songs generated by AI.
Anghami has partnered with a generative music platform called Mubert, which says it allows users to create “unique soundtracks” for various uses such as social media, presentations or films using one million samples from over 4,000 musicians.
According to Mohammed Ogaily, VP Product at Anghami, the service has already “generated over 170,000 songs, based on three sets of lyrics, three talents, and 2,000 tracks generated by AI”.
It’s striking that the undoubtedly interesting but theoretical possibilities of ChatGPT and generative AI art are dominating the headlines, while we hear relatively little about these AI-based music services that are already up and running, and hugely popular with listeners. It’s probably a result of the generally parochial nature of mainstream Western media, which often ignores the important developments happening elsewhere.