From recommending music that tickles your earbuds to imitating songs by deceased music legends, AI is rewriting the music industry’s future.

From our earliest capability to listen up to our final moments of clarity, music is a part of our lives. Now, AI technology combined with music is making its presence felt in health and business sectors.   

For example, an AI program called Magenta was previously utilized by Sony to come up with a new Beatles song. Now the same program created by Google has been used by a Toronto-based group to create new tracks by deceased artists with the aim of helping those with mental illness.

This alternative treatment for mental illness has become popular because only a limited percentage of adults in the United States have access to treatment via public health funding. There, nearly one in every five adults lives with a mental illness.

How AI reinvents tunes

Music therapy has been known to alleviate anxiety, depression, and chronic pain. According to clinical psychologist Michael Friedman, research has shown that either listening to or playing music can treat mental health problems.

The right kind of music for the right people can also be used to lower blood pressure and cortisol levels and abnormal heart rates. This is where an AI program like Magenta can be used to create certain types of music and musical characteristics of certain composers, such as rhythmic quirks, harmony selections, and note choices.

With such an AI program, Toronto-based group Over the Bridge has launched a project called Lost Tapes of the 27 Club, where new songs by dead performers like Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison, and Amy Winehouse are created using AI.

The group’s latest is a Nirvana song called Drowned in the Sun. According to the group, the intention behind producing such songs is to help music industry members coping with depression. It is worth noting that the new Nirvana song comes on the 27th anniversary of Nirvana vocalist Kurt Cobain’s death.

With today’s AI-composed music, people who have mental illnesses and people who benefit from certain types of music will gain relief when they hear original tunes that have been modeled after some favorites.

AI for personalizing playlists

Do you remember the old days when you used to visit a CD store or some similar establishment and would pay US$10 to US$20 for each album purchased? The unfortunate thing was that you such prices made it difficult or uneconomical to buy all the albums at a whim.

However, in these modern times, AI has made music adventurism more economical and accessible. With a music streaming subscription, you can listen to all the songs in the CD A Slight Case of Overbombing by a band that is still performing live but no longer releasing new albums. What new bands among the thousands being added to the platform have a similar sound to this band? With a touch of a button, the platform’s AI can scan through its library and come up with recommendations for your playlist.

AI’s impact on the music business

Over and above making an indelible impact on health and well-being, AI technology has been infusing momentous changes into businesses. The changes are so big that a McKinsey report had predicted that around 70% of companies will have adopted at least one AI technology by 2030. In addition, the report had also estimated AI delivering some US$13tn worth of global economic activity by 2030.

For example, software similar to Google’s Magenta, such as AIVA (Artificial Intelligence Visual Artist) can create royalty-free music for both business and personal usage. AIVA has been used in advertising campaigns and it has been officially recognized as a composer by the Société des Auteurs, Compositeurs et Éditeurs de Musique (SACEM), France and Luxembourg authors’ right society. Further, AIVA will continue to reduce costs on labor and computing.

With AI already making its mark in mental health, entertainment and business industries, how much greater would its impact in the future be? Can you almost hear a new AI-composed song that reminds you just a bit of We’ve Only Just Begun by the Carpenters? The possibilities are AI (Absolutely Immense).