YouTube gave users a sneak peek of its first artificial intelligence-based music experiment, Dream Track for Shorts. The tools let users create custom songs on the fly with a system that mimics popular artists like Charlie Puth to use as a soundtrack for their YouTube Shorts.
YouTube, like its parent Google, is experimenting with the different ways AI can help its service. Dream Track for Shorts is designed to explore how AI can create deeper connections between artists and creators.
Dream Track for Shorts works by typing a few key words into the creation prompt and selecting a participating artist. Dream Track then creates a soundtrack for Shorts featuring an AI-generated voice of that artist to compliment the Short.
YouTube is partnering with Alec Benjamin, Charlie Puth, Charli XCX, Demi Lovato, John Legend, Papoose, Sia, T-Pain, and Troye Sivan, who will all lend their voices to this project. A small group of U.S. creators will have access to the experiment to create unique soundtracks up to 30 seconds long for their Shorts.
This is the latest example of how a tech company is utilizing AI at a time when everyone is buzzing about the technology. Streaming giants like Netflix use AI and machine learning to determine which titles will appeal to its members, while Amazon incorporates AI into Alexa and to automate its fulfillment centers.
The music AI tools are powered by Lyria, Google DeepMind’s most advanced music generation model. The Music AI Incubator lets YouTube collaborate with artists to test new tools and explore new ideas to develop the technology further. Participants can create short songs by typing in a few words, and then AI will generate music with those concepts in mind.
For instance, a user could create a new guitar riff by humming a tune and build off that by adding additional instruments and vocals to flesh out the song. It can also take a pop track and transform it with a reggaeton vibe.
“I have always been about pushing the boundaries of technology and harnessing it to make the most interesting music for my fans,” said T-Pain. “Who knows what the future holds, but joining hands with YouTube + Google to help shape that future feels like a great first step.”
While many celebrities are featured without permission in deep fake advertisements, such as Tom Hanks, YouTube says it takes a responsible approach to incorporating AI into its services. The artists and musicians participating in the experiments are doing so willingly, and the company hopes to make a positive impact in the early days of AI. In August, YouTube posted a set of AI Music principles and a Music AI incubator based on ethical collaboration and artificial intelligence tools.
The musicians participating in the study are enthusiastic about the new features.
“I’m extremely excited and inspired… YouTube has been a great partner in outlining their approach to AI and understands the need to work together to develop this technology responsibility, ensuring it will accelerate creativity instead of replacing it,” said Puth.
The experiments are running now in a limited capacity, though like many YouTube new feature tests, it could eventually launch on a more global scale.
Image credit: YouTube