See you at SXSW 2023!

The Music Futurist will be covering the 2023 South by Southwest Conference and festival — from the inside!

It’s official. I’ll be in Austin, TX this March representing The Music Futurist at SXSW 2023, shoving my shiny new press badge in the faces of anyone willing to talk to me about AI and music.

South by Southwest (SXSW) started as a music festival in 1987. Since then the festival has grown in both scope and influence like an invasive species of bamboo in your hippy neighbor's backyard.

While music is still at the heart of SXSW, you’ll also find speakers, events, and exhibits on everything from Cannabis to Climate Change, Sports to Psychedlics, and of course, AR to AI.

SXSW is big. It’s a conference and a festival that runs from March 10-18 (and that’s not even counting SXSW EDU which is March 6-9). The official events span numerous locations around Austin and are organized around different “tracks” like music, film, tech, startups, climate change, etc. Different entry badges get you access to events on different sets of tracks.

For instance, if you’re just coming for the music, you can get a music badge for $895 (or a $995 walk-up rate). That gets you primary access to all the music performances and comedy events, exhibitions, and the closing BBQ and softball tournament, and secondary access to Film, TV, and interactive tracks.

Artificial Intelligence at SXSW

There are dozens of speakers, sessions, and exhibits on Artificial Intelligence this year and several are focused specifically on the intersection of AI and music.

Ooohwee! It’s gonna be fun.

Here are just a few SXSW sessions you’ll find me at next month (come say hi!):

Is Elvis Back From the Dead? Ethical AI in Music

Mar 13, 2023, 11:30am – 12:30pm CT

  • Artificial intelligence has improved to the point where 'new' songs can be produced from what the legends left behind. AI can isolate rhythms, riffs, note choices, melodies, and more to identify an artist's style and replicate it to create new compositions. This panel will explore how AI technology when applied to music may open the door to ethical and creative criticism.

AI-Generated Content: Are We Ready For the Future?

Mar 13, 2023, 2:30pm – 3:30pm CT

  • …generative technology is quickly coming to the creative industry and is changing how well-known brands and the creator economy operate. AI-generated content holds a vast amount of potential for brands, organizations, and designers to fulfill their creative asset needs at scale. But it also raises fundamental questions around the very nature of content: How can we ensure it is ethically generated? Who owns the IP? And what does it mean for the future of art?

Bring The Noise: An Immersive Revolution in Music

Mar 13, 2023, 2:30pm – 3:30pm CT

  • Bring The Noise': a group panel focused on immersive events with musical roots or collaboration.

    Feat: 'In Pursuit Of Repetitive Beats' Director Darren Emerson (multi award winning XR filmmaker), Max Cooper (Immersive and Musical Artist) and Nathalie Blue (an electronic music x tech promoter). The panel discuss the new opportunities and affordances of immersive tech and how to use these to reach new audiences and create new forms of experience that unite, connect and inspire music lovers. Painting a hi-tech future for music IP that puts audiences at the heart of musical experiences in a more engaging and playful way than ever before.

Can Robots Create Life-Changing Songs?

Mar 16, 2023, 10:00am – 11:00am CT

  • Competing AI Music platforms are popping up like mushrooms, some of them psychedelic, others that will make you nauseous. You can mix a pop song with a Classical fugue, or have guide the algorithm to make completely new music. Spotify is cooking up AI tools that they hope will hook users on the platform, as they lean forward into the music-making process, rather than sitting back and simply listening. Microsoft, Sony, and many others are jumping into the action. There are interesting questions being studied. Can a computer own a copyright in a song? When does a music imitation algorithm cross the line into copyright infringement? Is the music any good? Can a computer make music that can bring a human to tears or change your life? Can a computer help a musician make better music?

Here’s a link to all SXSW events (Warning: it’s a lot. View it on desktop and use the filters on the left of the screen, which are only visible on desktop.)

If you are going to be at SXSW this year and would like to meet up, hit reply. I’d love to say hi and talk music with you!

📍 Random Curated Links

  • David Guetta: “The Future of Music is in AI” (Link to article)

  • Neural Audio Plugin Competition (Link to website)

  • Hypebot Indie Spotlight: Creating Music Stems with Audioshake [AI] (Link to Article)

  • Is AI the future of beatmaking? We spoke to the developers working on "DALL-E for sound design" to find out (Link to Article)

  • Google's AI music generator MusicLM has impressed listeners. Can you tell if these tunes were created by humans or an algorithm? (Link to Article)

  • Is AI Music a Genuine Threat To Real Artists? Yes, no, it's already here, it's complicated. (Link to Article)

  • The New Age Of AI Music (Link to Article)

  • Billionaire Kuok Family-Backed Music App BandLab Taps Into AI For TikTok’s Breakout Stars (Link to Article)

  • Music Licensing, Inc. Takes the Lead in AI-Generated Content with Exciting New Advancements With The Help Of Chat GPT (Link to Article)

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