Apple Acquires AI Music For Smart Music That Matches Your Mood
Apple has acquired UK music startup AI Music for an undisclosed sum. The smaller firm was using artificial intelligence to generate dynamic soundtracks to match people’s mood.
The way this service worked, it would create soundtracks using royalty-free music and artificial intelligence. It sounds very like Endel, a cross platform tool that also used AI to generate music.
AI Music generated dynamic soundtracks that change based on user interaction. “A song in a video game could change to fit the mood, for instance, or music during a workout could adapt to the user’s intensity,” the company website (now deleted) said.
The tech could create “the perfect song stream”. Music that reflected human emotion across different genres and needs. AI Music was a bit of a rising star in terms of AI in London’s music industry.
Speaking to MusicAlly, company CEO Siavash Mahdavi explained: “We’re not generating music from scratch… We’re looking at using AI to shift the way in which music is consumed.”
“It’s that idea of contextual AI. Maybe you listen to a song and in the morning it might be a little bit more of an acoustic version,” CEO Siavash Mahdavi said in August 2017.
“Maybe that same song when you play it as you’re about to go to the gym, it’s a deep-house or drum’n’bass version. And in the evening it’s a bit more jazzy. The song can actually shift itself. The entire genre can change, or the key it’s played in.”
MusicAlly also informs us of some highlights from the service:
- AI Music raised £5m of funding.
- Launched a test app called Ossia that enabled people to mix and match vocals and backing tracks.
- Developed ‘Sympaphonic Ads’ technology to match AI-generated music for ads with the music being played around them.
- Worked with social network Hornet to create ‘adaptive soundtracks’ for posts.
- Launched a spin-off called VentureSonic (which still appears to be active) to create music for brands.
How Apple Could Make Use Of This?
There are numerous ways Apple could make use of this tech in Apple Music. Equally, it may enable the company to deliver new features to users of its pro apps. A filmmaker might create an automated, royalty-free film score. Or Logic or GarageBand users might use it to lay down some or all a backing track. Not to mention those Fitness workouts.
Apple could even offer the music to Apple Music for Business. This would provide royalty-free music to shopping malls, just to add to the existential disassociation of daily life. It is worth noting that pre-purchase the service held deals with ads firms to create music for ads that matched moods.
“AI Music enables users to create on-demand royalty-free music that can be used and shared anywhere,” the smaller firm said.
There’s a solid business reason Apple may want to invest in automated, robot-made music. It would, after all, reduce music use royalty payments which at the scale of its apps and services are likely to be high.
What About Siri?
But what I think it’s really about is the recommendation engine.
The AI Music LinkedIn page said it wanted to: “Give consumers the power to choose the music they want, seamlessly edited to fit their needs or create dynamic solutions that adapt to fit their audiences.”
I imagine you’ll be able to ask Siri to play music to meet your moods, even if you don’t yet have an Apple Music subscription. And that the AI may offer up automated music alongside real world artist tracks. But where this tech may really shine is in terms of helping Apple improve the music mood sensing and recommendation engines in its existing products.