The first pop song ever written by artificial intelligence is pretty good, actually

A screenshot from the Sony’s video of the AI-composed pop song.
A screenshot from the Sony’s video of the AI-composed pop song.
Image: Sony CSL-Paris
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We already know that artificial intelligence systems can work in law firms and beat the world champion at a game of Go. Now it turns out that AI can write some pretty good pop songs, too.

Researchers at Sony have been working on AI-generated music for years, and has previously used AI to create impressive jazz tracks. But this is the first time the Sony CSL Research Laboratory has released pop music composed by AI, and the results are impressive.

The first song, “Daddy’s Car,” is a catchy, sunny tune reminiscent of The Beatles.

The second song, a dreamy ditty called “Mr Shadow,” was created in the style of American musicians Irving Berlin, Duke Ellington, George Gershwin and Cole Porter.

The AI system, called FlowMachines, works by first analyzing a database of songs, and then following a particular musical style to create similar compositions. The final result does have a human touch, however. In the case of both songs above, French composer Benoît Carré arranged the songs and wrote the lyrics.

So perhaps humans are artistically necessary—at least for the time being. But Sony is preparing to release a complete album composed by artificial intelligence in 2017, and its plan is to create truly great AI music. Beyoncé and Taylor Swift: watch your backs.