Australia wins first AI ‘Eurovision Tune Contest’ by sampling koalas and kookaburras

Australia wins first AI ‘Eurovision Tune Contest’ by sampling koalas and kookaburras

A crew of programmers and songwriters from Australia have gained the inaugural (and unofficial) AI ‘Eurovision Song Contest’, utilizing a neural community skilled on noises made by koalas, kookaburras, and Tasmanian devils to assist rating their successful entry.

The group, named Uncanny Valley, stated their track was a response to the bushfire season that started ravaging Australia in June 2019. Scientists estimated that round a billion animals have been killed by the fires (a determine that excludes bugs, fish, frogs, and bats, however contains reptiles, birds, and mammals — together with these sampled for the track).

The observe, titled “Stunning the World,” falls into the grand custom of saccharine and zany Eurovision pop that so usually exhibits up alongside raging loss of life steel and techno remixes of European folks ballads. It contains the lyrics “Flying in worry however love retains on coming (flying, flying) / Desires nonetheless stay on the wings of happiness (goals nonetheless)” and recasts the devastating bushfires as “vivid candles of hope.”

The actual Eurovision Tune Contest has been held yearly since 1956, and Australia has participated since 2015 (partly as a result of Australians love it so much). The AI model, although, was cooked up by Dutch broadcaster VPRO after the 2020 version was canceled as a result of coronavirus pandemic. 13 groups entered songs and have been live-streamed earlier this week.

The winners of the AI Eurovision Tune Contest, based mostly on a mixture of viewers votes and judges’ scores.
Picture: VPro

Though it was dubbed an “AI track contest,” computer systems weren’t at all times calling the photographs. As is commonly the case with AI music, machine studying was used to generate some parts of the songs, nevertheless it was normally as much as people to rearrange and carry out the ultimate tracks.

Within the case of “Stunning the World,” plainly AI was primarily used to put in writing the melody and lyrics, with the samples from Australian fauna used to craft a synth instrument. The ultimate efficiency, although, was firmly right down to people. (You’ll be able to learn extra in regards to the technical facets of the track on this blog post by crew member Sandra Uitdenbogerd.)

The AI Eurovision viewers wasn’t simply within the temper for poptimism, although. Second place within the contest went to Germany’s entry, an eerie track titled “I’ll Marry You, Punk Come” by Group Dadabots x Portrait XO.

For his or her lyrics, the crew used AI skilled on 1950s acapellas to generate a stream of babble that they then tried to acknowledge phrases in. The music was generated utilizing a set of neural networks skilled on every little thing from pop choruses to baroque harmonies. The ensuing observe (which you’ll hearken to beneath) is a melange of various types, with one crew member evaluating the curation course of to “looking and gathering.”

If the outcomes of the competition present something, although, it’s that synthetic intelligence is greatest used as a companion in music-making, not because the lead. The last-place entry was “Painfulwords” by Group New Piano from Switzerland, which let computer systems take cost.

“Confronted with the selection between making an accessible track with fairly a number of human interventions, or experimenting with as a lot AI as attainable after which delivering a worse-sounding track, we selected the latter,” stated the 2 information scientists chargeable for the observe. The outcomes speak for themselves.

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