AI-generated music is urgingly becoming a topic with the emergence of ChatGPT. In between a track that seemingly featured vocals from two popular artists from the U.S, it resulted in Spotify reportedly removing thousands of songs. This is over concerns that people were using them to game the system.
Now, Google is wading further into that space as the company is opening up access to its text-to-music AI, which is called MusicLM.
Google published research on MusicLM detailing the system back in January. At the time, the company said it didn’t have any plans to offer the public access to MusicLM. This is due to ethical concerns related to copyrighted material, some of which the AI copied directly into the songs it generated.
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But who would have thought about the dramatically generative the AI landscape has shifted this year.
This has now made Google feel comfortable enough to let the public try MusicLM.
The current public version of MusicLM doesn’t allow users to generate music with specific artists or vocals. That could help Google to avoid copyright issues and stop users from generating fake “unreleased songs” from popular artists and selling them for thousands of dollars.
“We’ve been working with musicians like Dan Deacon and hosting workshops to see how this technology can empower the creative process,” Google Research product manager Hema Manickavasagam and Google Labs product manager Kristin Yim wrote in a blog post.
It seems unlikely, in any case, that the broader challenges around generative music will be easily resolved.
But deeply generative music with the possibility of creating different versions (no matter how improvised) still stands on foggy and unchartered legal ground.
Increasingly, homemade tracks that use generative AI to create familiar sounds that can be passed off as authentic, or at least close enough, have been going viral. Citing intellectual property concerns, music labels have been quick to flag them to streaming partners.
You can now sign up to try Google’s MusicLM through AI Test Kitchen on the web, Android and iOS. Google suggests that you can try prompts based on mood, genre and instruments, such as “soulful jazz for a dinner party” or “two nylon string guitars playing in flamenco style.” The experimental AI will generate two tracks and you can identify your favorite by selecting a trophy icon. Google says doing so will help it to improve the model.
This article is updated on June 13, 2023.