Competitive AI Songwriting: Yes, it's a thing

In 2020, the Dutch public broadcaster VPRO organized the first-ever AI Song Contest. Not only are we adulterating music with AI but we’re making it a competition too!

Time to read: Seriously? You've got time for twitter. You've got time for this.

Ladies and gentlemen, boys, girls, and machines, gather 'round! Have you heard of the AI Song Contest? No? Well, that's about to change.

In 2020, the Dutch public broadcaster VPRO, in collaboration with a group of international broadcasting organizations, initiated and organized the first-ever AI Song Contest. The competition is a global exploration of the use of AI in the songwriting process, featuring teams of musicians, researchers, data scientists, and anyone else interested in the intersection of music and AI. The winners of the 2020 inaugural event were an Australian team called Uncanny Valley with their song “Beautiful the World”.

VPRO says, “Beautiful the World is largely written using artificial intelligence. The team trained their machine with audio samples of koalas, kookaburras and Tasmanian devils, giving the song a unique Australian twist.”

An AI songwriting contest? Have we gone mad?!

I can hear the stampede of angry music purists approaching.

angry and rioting music purists --ar 3:2 --q 5

An angry music purist rioting.

Not only are we adulterating music with AI but we’re making it a competition too!

I was in a cover band called Tommy Tsunami and the Suicide Surfers. Our drummer, Dave, always scoffed at bands like Dream Theatre, saying, “they treat music like it’s a sport.” He was the kind of guy that would decline a Grammy. I think he may have felt the same way about songwriting competitions. Add AI to the mix and his head would explode.

But here we are. This stuff exists and it has been going on for years. The 2022 event featured songs from 46 teams. The winner that year was Yaboi Hanoi with his song “Enter Demons & Gods”.

Considering the recent surge in interest in all things AI, I imagine that the lineup for the AI Song Contest in 2023 will be bigger than ever.

Our friends from the Dadabots, who were featured in a previous Music futurist newsletter, have been participants in past years and were kind enough to enlighten me about the existence of the event.

Here is the past Music Futurist issue featuring Dadabots:

Follow AI Song Contest on Twitter to vote for your favorite submission in 2023 and beyond. @AISongContest

🔸 Tool of the week

📍PlaylistAI (link)

Playlist AI makes playlists using AI.

Prompt a playlist: Enter a prompt like "Early 2000's pop music" or "Playing board games on a rainy day" and AI will make the perfect mix.

Turn a pic of a festival poster into a playlist: PlaylistAI will take the artist names out of your image and turn them into a playlist.

ID songs from a video: Provide a video and PlaylistAI will make a playlist of the songs in the video.


Appstore: iOS App Store

Twitter: @playlist_ai

🔸 Random Curated Links from around the web

📍 Nick Cave comments on ChatGPT and AI's attempt to write a song in the style of Nick Cave: "Data doesn't suffer" (Link)

📍 Class-Action Copyright Lawsuit filed against Stability AI, Deviant Art, and Midjourney for their use of Stable Diffusion, a "21st-cen­tury col­lage tool that remixes the copy­righted works of mil­lions of artists whose work was used as train­ing data.” (Link)

📍 AI music startup Beatoven launches $50k fund… for human artists (Link)

📍 AI Generated Songs Are About to Change Everything, YouTube Video (Link)

📍 AI Music: 9 Examples to Know (Link)

📍AI Music Generator Market to Witness Robust Expansion throughout the Forecast Period 2023-2029 (Link)

🔸 AI Music heard in the wild

📍 Dark Lord by Ruchir Shah, 2023 (Link)

📍 Diffusion Radio - 24/7 AI music from Harmonai (Link)

📍 Lia 27 Inc (Link)

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