Google is making its text-to-music AI public

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Google today released MusicLM, a new experimental AI tool that can turn text descriptions into music. Available in the AI ​​Test Kitchen app on the web, Android, or iOS, MusicLM lets users type in a prompt like “soulful jazz for dinner” and lets the tool create different versions of the song.

When Google previewed MusicLM in an academic paper in January, it said it had “no immediate plans” to release it. The article’s co-authors pointed out the many ethical challenges a system like MusicLM poses, including the tendency to include copyrighted training data material in the generated songs.

But in the intervening months, Google says it’s been working with musicians and hosting workshops to “see how.” [the] technology can enhance the creative process.” Make of it what you will.

In any case, it seems unlikely that the wider challenges surrounding generative music will be easily remedied.

In 2020, Jay-Z’s record label filed copyright complaints against a YouTube channel, Vocal Synthesis, for using AI to create Jay-Z covers of songs like Billy Joel’s “We Didn’t Start the Fire.” After initially removing the videos, YouTube reinstated them, finding that the takedown requests were “incomplete”.

But deepfaked music still stands on murky legal grounds.

Google MusicLM

Image Credits: Google

Increasingly, homemade songs that use generative AI to conjure up familiar sounds that can be passed off as authentic, or at least close enough, are going viral. Music labels have been quick to notify streaming partners of them, citing concerns over intellectual property. And they generally won in opposition to the Jay-Z case: Spotify removed tens of thousands of AI-generated songs from startup Boomy last month after a complaint from Universal Music Group.

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