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Feb 4, 2020

Musical composition is one of the earliest examples of human art and creativity. Today, new and original music is increasingly being composed by AI. Drew Silverstein, Co-Founder and CEO of Amper Music, joins the show.

Automation of sound and music, in the form of licensing stock and pre-existing recordings, is a decades-old trend that became ubiquitous with the rise of the internet. Now, thanks to machine learning and artificial intelligence, the creation of original music is increasingly being automated. Drew Silverstein, one of the pioneers at the forefront of this trend, joins the Creative Next team to explore these technologies and the trends and impacts they have on work in general and musicians in particular.


Memorable Quotes

“As our technology evolves, we see AI dramatically decreasing the cost of accomplishing certain tasks and dramatically decreasing the amount of information that any one person needs to know to be successful at that task. And whether it's music, whether it's farming, whether it's creating a script, or whether it's just doing more rote business tasks, and I think what we are going to arrive at in the not too distant future, is a world in which the ability to complete a task is fully democratized and anyone can do nearly anything with the assistance of an AI.”

“The value, then, of our human input is gonna be on the creative input and the creative direction, so that, as people, how can we direct the workforce and the work effort of these machines to do something that's meaningful to us.”

“All you need to know to create unique and professional music tailored to your content are three things: the style of music you want to create, the mood you want to convey and the length of your piece of music and that's all you know. In a matter of seconds, you'll make something brand new.”

“We think our job is just a matter of tasks in a sequence that accomplish something specific that they get a goal done, whereas our career is all about helping others achieve their goals, and the manner in which we do that will change. We used to communicate via written letters only, and then it became telegraphs, and then it became phone calls, and then it became email. Now it's texts. We're still communicating. We're still conveying messages, but how we do that will change. And in the same way, in music, the jobs of the music world that exist today will certainly evolve and be very different in a matter of years, in the same way that they're very different now than they were 10 years ago.”

“So what I would say to those, both coming up in music, and those who are already successful and experienced, is to understand that technologies evolve. The way we do things will change. Be accepting of that. Be on the forefront of the adoption of those new technologies and their tools, but also be mindful at the core value in music. It's not because of the process by which it's made. It's because we're making art and people value art.”

“Whether or not we exist as a company, this is happening. AI music is here.”

“And then we said to ourselves, ‘As composers, we are experts at translating music into emotion and emotion into music.’ And so we suggested, ‘What if we could create a creative AI that gives you the same collaborative experience of working with us, but within the time and economic framework that you need?’”

“And with each evolution in technology, the barriers to expressing oneself creatively through music were dramatically decreased, the time it takes to learn to express oneself and the cost of purchasing the tools to do so. And in that manner, we see AI music and Amper as the next step in this centuries long, if not longer, progression of technological innovation democratizing creative abilities.”


Who You'll Hear

Dirk Knemeyer, Social Futurist and Producer of Creative Next (@dknemeyer)

Jonathan Follett, Writer, Electronic Musician, Emerging Tech Researcher and Producer of Creative Next (@jonfollett)

Drew Silverstein, Co-Founder & CEO, Amper Music


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