Brand New Beatles Song by AI
We are now living in an era where we discuss subjects such as the copyrights of art pieces produced with artificial intelligence or whether they can indeed be considered works of art. Amongst all these, an announcement came from Paul McCartney, a famous British music group The Beatles member, stating he has also benefited from the blessings of artificial intelligence. It will be possible to listen to the song, which McCartney describes as “the last record by Beatles,” this year.
Unlike songs and vocals created out of nothing, which we keep coming across now, McCartney and his team successfully used artificial intelligence to isolate the vocals from other instruments by “cleaning” a “demo” song recorded by John Lennon with the piano in 1978. Then they turned it into a song with traditional methods of recording. “We told the machine, ‘That’s the voice. This is a guitar. Lose the guitar.'” The result is a sparkling vocal recording free of background instruments and noise.
The story of the song is as follows: Paul McCartney, who was given the title “Sir” by Elizabeth 2nd, the Queen of England in 1997, says Lennon’s wife, Yoko Ono, gave him a cassette in 1994 labelled “For Paul.” The tape included some demo songs that Lennon recorded at home shortly before he died. Two of these songs were released in 1995 and 1996, but George Harrison did not like the recording quality of vocals on Now and Then, and the project was shelved. In 2021, director Peter Jackson made a Beatles documentary called Get Back and used artificial intelligence technology to obtain sounds cleared from old recordings and interviews, which ultimately became the key to this latest Beatles song project. “It didn’t have a perfect title, it needed a bit of reworking, but it had a beautiful verse and it had John singing it,” says McCartney.
While this isn’t a very creative or surprising use of artificial intelligence, it is certainly exciting for Beatles fans. Like many other artists, McCartney admits that he is worried about the possible negative effects of artificial intelligence technology on the music world. As in “deep fake” images, the voices or works of musicians can be stolen and used inappropriately by artificial intelligence. However, on the other hand, famous musicians like McCartney also think that such technological advances can produce exciting results: “It’s the future. We’ll have to see where that leads.”
- 1. https://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-65881813
- 2. https://futurism.com/the-byte/paul-mccartney-ai-create-last-beatles-record