A Christmas song written by an Artificial Intelligence

Well, after hearing that, it’s still hard to feel fully in the Christmas spirit, but it’s still a technological feat. Indeed, a team of engineers has managed to write and compose a Christmas song by an artificial intelligence.

This is enough to cut you off from the desire to immerse yourself in the holiday spirit with the famous Christmas carols, but the feat is nevertheless to be saluted. A team of engineers from the Department of Computer Science at the University of Toronto, Canada, managed to write an artificial intelligence (AI) Christmas carol. They describe all this in their open study, and presented during an AI conference.

To do this, these engineers loaded more than a hundred hours of pop songs to a type of artificial intelligence known as  » recurrent neural network « . It learns and creates by making connections between the data loaded inside, much like a human brain. In this case, the hundreds of hours of downloaded songs “taught” the neural network what the general structure of a pop song was.

Next, engineers tested the ability of artificial intelligence to generate a song from an image, here a decorated Christmas tree surrounded by wrapped gifts using a process called  » neural story singing « . In order for the AI ​​to produce its song, the engineers first had it write a story based on the Christmas image submitted to it. Then, they chose a rhythm of one « beat » per word, linked the endings of the sentences with the ends of bars and harmonized everything so that the voice was expressed in a « natural » range of pitch, explain the engineers.

This gives in the end a song which, indeed, makes one think of the Christmas holidays, in particular in the lyrics which refer to Christmas trees, gifts or even  » many many many flowers « . However, the voice remains a little « special » and certain words that follow one another still lack a bit of meaning:  » A hundred and a half hours ago / I’m glad to meet you « .

If there is still a lot of work to be done for an AI to compose a song that is audible and that enters completely into the spirit of what a human could compose, it is still a rather exceptional feat. Good listening !

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