Working Paper Article Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

Artificial Intelligence & Popular Music: SKYGGE, Flow Machines, and the Audio Uncanny Valley

Version 1 : Received: 10 July 2019 / Approved: 24 July 2019 / Online: 24 July 2019 (10:49:29 CEST)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

Avdeeff, M. Artificial Intelligence & Popular Music: SKYGGE, Flow Machines, and the Audio Uncanny Valley. Arts 2019, 8, 130. Avdeeff, M. Artificial Intelligence & Popular Music: SKYGGE, Flow Machines, and the Audio Uncanny Valley. Arts 2019, 8, 130.

Journal reference: Arts 2019, 8, 130
DOI: 10.3390/arts8040130

Abstract

This article presents an overview of the first AI-human collaborated album, Hello World, by SKYGGE, which utilizes Sony’s Flow Machines technologies. This case study is situated within an overview of current and emerging uses of AI in popular music production, and connects those uses with myths and fears that have circulated in discourses concerning the use of AI in general, but also in music specifically. By proposing the concept of an audio uncanny valley in relation to AIPM (artificial intelligence popular music), this article offers a lens through which to examine the more novel and unusual melodies and harmonisations made possible through AI music generation, and questions how this content relates to wider speculations about posthumanism, sincerity, and authenticity in both popular music, and more wider assumptions of anthropocentric creativity. In its documentation of the emergence of a new era of popular music, the AI era, this article surveys: (1) the current landscape of artificial intelligence popular music focusing on the use of Markov models for generative purposes; (2) posthumanist creativity and the potential for an audio uncanny valley; and (3) issues of perceived authenticity in the technologically mediated “voice”.

Subject Areas

artificial intelligence; popular music; posthuman; creativity; uncanny valley

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