MusicLM: Google’s music-generating AI

By Bastien, on February 2, 2023 - tech - 2 min read

Google recently unveiled MusicLM, an artificial intelligence (AI) model capable of generating music from simple text prompts. MusicLM is the result of a project to create an AI capable of generating consistent and varied songs.

The model has been trained with over 280,000 hours of music.

How does MusicLM work?

MusicLM is an AI model that works through machine learning. Specifically, it trains itself by analyzing a large amount of relevant data.

It then generates different instrument sounds, musical styles and levels of complexity. It can also integrate human voices to add lyrics to a melody.

This AI is capable of creating music up to 5 minutes long while maintaining consistency over time.

The model was trained on a music database consisting of 280,000 hours of music available on the Free Music Archive platform.

The engineers also set up a set of 5500 music tracks associated with textual descriptions made by professional musicians so that the AI could match existing tracks with words.

The performance of MusicLM

Google claims that MusicLM has superior performance to its previous systems. The researchers were able to reproduce excellent audio quality and create an algorithm that best respects the user’s requests.

If you’d like to see what it sounds like, a demonstration of the model is available on a site set up by Google.

However, there are still some technical limitations such as understanding negations and temporal instructions.

Engineers are currently working to fill these gaps but also to push the AI even further and make it able to generate speech and better understand text.

Ethical issues raised by the project

If this technology seems very promising, it nevertheless raises real ethical questions.

Indeed, the researchers underline the ethical issues raised by their work, such as the potential misappropriation of creative content or the misuse of the software to produce unauthorized music.

Google has therefore preferred not to make MusicLM available to the general public for the moment.

Google’s AI that generates music: what to remember?

MusicLM confirms Google’s ambitions in artificial intelligence research and is an integral part of the “code red” launched in December 2022. Other projects such as Sparrow and MedPaLM were also launched this month, showing that Google continues to invest heavily in AI.

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