ChatGPT can’t make music, but Google’s new AI model can

Robot hand playing on the piano

Getty Images/xia yuan

A major barrier to entry in the music industry is production costs. Even once an artist collects the funds, finding a music producer and studio to meet their needs can be extremely challenging. What if you could just tell your computer to make the beat you envisioned for you at the touch of a button? With Google’s MusicLM model, generating music from text could be a reality.

Last week, Google released an academic paper discussing its MusicLM generative AI model that makes music from user text prompts. The model can make anywhere from a 10-second audio clip to a full song, using as much specific details as you give it. It can also take an existing song and produce it with a different sound. 

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According to the paper, prompts for the AI model can include detailed commands such as, “enchanting jazz song with a memorable saxophone solo and a solo singer” or “Berlin 90s techno with a low bass and strong kick.” To see samples of all its different prompts and abilities, you can click here. 

To create the music, the system is trained on a 280,000-hour dataset of unlabeled music which teaches MusicLM to generate long and coherent music at 25 kHz, according to the paper.  

This isn’t Google’s, or the industry’s, first attempt at an AI song system. OpenAI, the AI research company behind ChatGPT and DALL-E, has their own version, JukeBox ,which has yet to be released to the public. Riffusion, a neural network that produces music using images of sound, is already available to the public now. According to Google, their system is better than anything done before. 

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“Our experiments show through quantitative metrics and human evaluations that MusicLM outperforms previous systems such as Mubert and Riffusion, both in terms of quality and adherence to the caption,” said Google. 

So when will we be able to use this “better than anything out there” AI model? The answer is, unfortunately, not any time soon. 

In the paper, Google recognizes the risk that these kinds of models could pose on misappropriation of creative content as well as inherent biases present in the training that could affect cultures underrepresented in the training, as well as lead to cultural appropriation. For all of these reasons, Google says it has no plans to release models at this point. 

In recent times, we have seen AI models that pose the risks delineated by Google. With the release of AI generated art models, such as Lensa’s AI Time Machine, artists have been speaking out about having their art being stolen by AI art models without credit or compensation.

At the same time, the sudden interest in AI tools like ChatGPT has reportedly prompted Google to consider rolling out AI-based products more quickly.

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