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Picture a world where artificial intelligence is used to create music

Can you picture a world where artificial intelligence is used to create music? The BMO Lab’s new webinar series, AI as Foils: Exploring the Co-Evolution of Art and Technology, involves discussions with artists and artificial intelligence (AI) experts. “AI as Foil Series: A New Musical Frontier: Meets Music,” the most recent event held virtually on October 8. “The idea is to examine people’s curiosity, excitement, as well as their anxieties and concerns about AI’s involvement in art and creativity,” said Natalie Klym, the series’ curator, and moderator.

BMO Financial Group invested $5 million in the BMO Lab for Creative Research in the Arts, Performance, Emerging Technologies, and  in 2019, the most significant gift to any single Canadian institution to date. The lab, housed in U of T’s Faculty of Arts and Science, intends to investigate and investigate the interface between creativity and new technologies, like artificial intelligence.

The BMO Lab hosted producer and engineer Annelise Noronha and artificial intelligence scientist Sageev Oore earlier this month. Noronha has collaborated with several well-known artists, including Dragonette, Jennifer Lopez, Blue Rodeo, and Academy Award winner Mychael Danna. Oore is a computer science associate professor at Dalhousie University and a musician. He has also worked on Google Brain’s Magenta project, which uses deep learning to music, and is a CIFAR AI chair.

Noronha began the meeting by giving an outline of her unique audio engineering background. She used software to lock tape machines together when she initially started engineering in studios. You’d have to ‘bounce’ the audio off the tape machine to another tape machine before sending it back to the original tape machine if you needed to shift part of an audio track on a multi-track — a recording made by mixing several separately recorded tracks.

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