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regular-article-logo Saturday, 24 February 2024

YouTube is experimenting with an AI tool that clones voices of famous singers

Google is trying out new generative AI features that will help content creators come up with tracks using a simple command prompt

Mathures Paul Published 18.11.23, 11:55 AM
Musicians like Charli XCX, Louis Bell, T-Pain, Sia, John Legend, Charlie Puth and Demi Lovato are collaborating with YouTube for the Dream Track project

Musicians like Charli XCX, Louis Bell, T-Pain, Sia, John Legend, Charlie Puth and Demi Lovato are collaborating with YouTube for the Dream Track project Illustration: The Telegraph

Google is trying out new generative AI features that will help content creators come up with tracks using a simple command prompt. And the final track can be in the style of famous artistes.

The first feature is called Dream Track and it can create 30-second music tracks that mimic the style of famous artistes. At the moment the list is restricted to nine artistes who have agreed to collaborate with YouTube — Alec Benjamin, Charlie Puth, Charlie XCX, Demi Lovato, John Legend, Louis Bell, Papoose, Sia, Troy Sivan and T-Pain.

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All this is happening when in the background a bigger picture is getting played out — navigating the choppy waters around copyright rules. Companies are finding it difficult to protect artistes and the issue was in the spotlight when an AI-generated “Drake” song became a sensation earlier this year. Soon after YouTube announced a deal to work with Universal Music.

YouTube has other Music AI tools that allow you to come up with tracks without even playing an instrument. In a video demonstration, YouTube has shown how to create a saxophone track by combing a hummed melody with a descriptive text prompt.

These tools are based on a model called Lyria. What’s that? Google’s sister business Google DeepMind has announced a new music generation model called Lyria that will work in conjunction with YouTube.

Looking at possibilities with improvements in technology, you may hear mash-ups that sound like lost tracks of dead artistes. And it will be impossible for labels to chase down accounts putting out AI-generated music.

It may lead to something unique. There will be Olivia Rodrigo and Olivia Rodrigo AI, Bob Dylan and Bob Dylan AI, and Lorde and Lorde AI. Casual listeners will probably accept it and make it the background track of video content they want to put out on social media. Next step: AI artistes and streaming services may warm up to them. Why not? It could be a new revenue stream.

The artist Grimes told Wired recently that she plans to open source her musical persona so that anyone can replicate her style with AI.

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