What makes an artist in the algorithm age?


In 2021, technology The role in how art is produced remains to be debated and discovered.Rise from NFTs spread Technical artist Who uses generative adversarial networks to generate visual expressions, to smartphone apps Write new music, Creative and technical personnel continue to try art production, consumption and monetization methods.

British Telecom Grammy Nomination 2010 composer These hopeful machines, Has become a world leader in the intersection of technology and music.In addition to producing and writing for David Bowie, Death Cab for Cutie, Madonna, and the Roots, and for Fast & Furious, SmallvilleAs well as many other shows and movies, he helped pioneer production techniques such as stuttering editing and particle synthesis.Last spring, BT released GENESIS.JSON, A software that contains 24 hours of original music and visual art. It contains 15,000 individually sorted audio and video clips that he created from scratch, covering different rhythmic figures, live recordings of cicadas and crickets, live orchestras, drum machines, and countless other continuously playing sounds. It exists on the blockchain. As far as I know, this is the first of its kind.

Can be like GENESIS.JSON Is the future of original music, do composers use artificial intelligence and blockchain to create new art forms? What makes an artist in the algorithm age? I talked to BT to learn more.

What is your core interest in artificial intelligence and music interfaces?

I am really fascinated by this idea of ​​what an artist is. In my common language-music-this is a very small array of variables. We have 12 notes. There is a set of rhythms we usually use. There is a dialect of instruments, tones, and timbre, but when you start adding them up, it becomes this very deep data set.

On the surface, it makes you ask: “What is special and unique about an artist?” This is my curiosity about my entire adult life. Seeing the research in the field of artificial intelligence, my immediate idea is that music is a fruit at your fingertips.

Now, we can take the total output of the artists, we can take their artwork, and we can quantify the whole thing into a training set, a huge, multivariate training set. We don’t even name variables. RNN (Recurrent neural network) And CNNs (Convolutional Neural Network) Automatically name them.

So you are referring to a musical body that can be used to “train” artificial intelligence algorithms, and then you can create original music similar to the trained music. If we reduce the genius of artists such as Coltrane or Mozart to a training set and reproduce their voices, how will musicians and music connoisseurs respond?

I think the closer we get, it becomes the idea of ​​this uncanny valley. Some people will say that things like music are sacred and inviolable, and are related to the very basic things of our human nature. It is not difficult to have a spiritual dialogue about what music is as a language, what it means, how powerful it is, and how it transcends culture, race, and time. So traditional musicians might say, “That’s impossible. There are many nuances and feelings, as well as your life experience, and these things in music output.”

My engineer part is like this, look at what Google has done.It is a simple MIDI generation engine, where they used all of Bach’s work and can spit out [Bach-like] Wandering. Because Bach wrote a lot of fugues, he is a good example. In addition, he is the father of modern harmony.Musicians listen to some Google magenta Fugue is indistinguishable from Bach’s original work. This again makes us question what an artist is.

For the space we are expanding, I am both excited and incredibly scared. Maybe the question I want to ask is not “we can, but should we?” and more “how do we do this responsibly, because it’s happening?”

Now, some companies are using tools like Spotify or YouTube to train their models with living artists, and their works are protected by copyright. But companies can now accept someone’s job and use it to train models. Should we do this? Or should we talk to the artist first? I believe in the need to establish protection mechanisms for visual artists, programmers and musicians.


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