Musicians did not disappear with the gramophone, nor do they now.
There have been many reports about music and artificial intelligence (AI) recently. The inputs move from optimism to pessimism. It is alleged that Many in the music industry will lose their jobsBut that too KI will have a democratizing effect.
Artificial intelligence is an evolution, not a revolution
There has been research into music and artificial intelligence for a long time. Previously, the focus was mostly on rule-based systems. Computers have been able to compose in Bach’s style for decades. In the early 2000s, we started with machine learning for voice. Now, increasing computing power has made such systems available as commercial products.
The music industry now has to change quickly, but it’s not the first time. Many predicted the death of musicians when self-playing instruments appeared in the 19th century. Further disruptions occurred with recording technology in the 20th century and live broadcasting in the 2000s.
Musicians are still here, although the number of music producers is increasing. Producers now face the challenge of AI-based systems that can mix and master with heavy-duty water-cooled computers.
Digitization has made it possible to consume “canned” music from morning to night. New AI-based systems open up more interactive music experiences. The song does not have to be fixed, it can be changed and adapted to the user.
Smartphones with advanced sensors can adjust speed while jogging. Key changes to sing along with your favorite song. Memories can be elicited in older adults based on personalized playlists.
At the RITMO Center for Interdisciplinary Research in Rhythm, Time and Movement, we study how music affects breathing, pulse, movement and muscle tension. New music technology will be able to positively impact the body and mind.
Technology by and for people
Technology is made by and for people and can always be misused. It is therefore important that ethics, ethics, privacy, copyright, and basic philosophical and historical perspectives in AI research and education are captured. Positively, the government will also support human research in its upcoming research initiative in the field of artificial intelligence.
The Faculty of Humanities at the University of Oslo is currently working on academic priorities for the coming years. I hope that AI will become a key part of that strategy, but also that the technology communities will focus more on the human aspects of AI. The goal should be good interaction between people and machines. Then we must have good research at the intersection between “soft” and “hard” topics.
Creative souls will use AI-based systems in new and exciting ways
Norwegian cultural heritage
The music industry cares about copyright. It’s an economic problem that big tech companies are running away with all their money when AI-based systems create music. Licensing and management need to be rethought when so much creative content is stored in machine learning models.
I miss a perspective in the discussion: Norwegian cultural heritage. It is a cultural problem that machine learning based on large international databases “erases” minority music. Major international companies will not be responsible for Norwegian folk tunes, the sound of Hardinge’s violin, or Norwegian-language pop music. We have to do it ourselves, if we want the Norwegian musical heritage to be transmitted into productive music systems.
At RITMO, we are collaborating with the National Library to look at how digital music collections can be used for machine learning. Ironically, it is licenses and copyrights that prevent research and development in the Norwegian music catalogue. Here we must find good solutions that protect rights holders and cultural heritage.
Artificial intelligence is here to stay
Some people in the music industry will lose their jobs, but there will also be many new jobs. Fortunately, Norwegian academic circles are well underway in educating future musicologists and music technologists.
Today’s students benefit from many years of basic research in this field. Creative souls will use AI-based systems in new and exciting ways. Musicians did not disappear with the gramophone, nor do they now.
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