Test your ability to differentiate between human-created pieces and those generated by MusicLM’s algorithm.
In an age where AI technology is constantly improving, even the most creative individuals, including musicians, are being challenged by generative AI systems.
Google’s AI research project MusicLM has recently wowed audiences with its ability to create music that can be almost indistinguishable from that produced by humans.
So the legends over at the ABC have put together a quiz to test your ability to differentiate between human-created pieces and those generated by MusicLM’s algorithm. They have collected five pieces from each category for you to listen to and decide for yourself which is which.
But identifying the source of the music is just the beginning. As AI-generated music becomes more sophisticated, it raises important questions about its impact on the music industry and the listening public. We’ve enlisted an expert to weigh in on these issues and provide insight into what the future may hold for artists and music lovers alike.
So put on your headphones and get ready to listen, learn, and speculate about the future of music, and see if you can tell the difference.
TBH, we got 9 correct!!
Was this music created by humans or AI?
Tap or click to play/pause audio. All snippets are 10 seconds long. Answers below.
Music snippet 1 — jazz
Music snippet 2 — acoustic guitar
Music snippet 3 — hip hop
Music snippet 4 — grunge
Music snippet 5 — opera
Music snippet 6 — funk R&B
Music snippet 7 — dance
Music snippet 8 — piano
Music snippet 9 — country
Music snippet 10 — pop
1 B Made by AI
2 A Made by Humans (That one is from a piece called Clear Day. (Jon J. Morin/Adobe Stock)
3 A MadebyHumans (That one is from a piece called Epic Hip-Hop. (Alexey Anisimov/Adobe Stock)
4 B Made by AI
5 B Made by AI
6 A Made by Humans (That one is from a piece called Funk R&B. (Alexey Anisimov/Adobe Stock)
7 B Made by AI
8 A Made by Humans (That one is from a piece called October. (Omar Alex/Adobe Stock)
9 B Made by AI
10 A Made by Humans (That one is from a piece called Give It Up. (Ramin/Adobe Stock)
Google’s MusicLM project has been honed through the use of 280,000 hours of music, providing it with the tools it needs to create audio that’s been dubbed as having “significant complexity” by its creators.
But while AI-generated music continues to evolve and improve, it’s not entirely foolproof, as musician and University of New South Wales associate professor Oliver Bown points out. He suggests that there are still some telltale signs that music is the product of an algorithm and not a human, such as grainy sound, time-warping, and inaudible vocals, or lyrics that don’t quite make sense.
As the music industry continues to grapple with disruptions caused by the internet and streaming services, there’s a growing curiosity around how AI might transform the way we create and experience music. What could these advancements mean for artists and their craft? And how might it change the way we connect with and interpret music?
The implications are wide-ranging, and the potential for AI-generated music to blur the lines between man and machine is both exciting and unnerving. Will we witness the rise of an entirely new form of musical expression? Or will we see traditional music-making methods challenged and displaced by the emergence of sophisticated AI technology? Only time will tell, but one thing is for sure – the future of music is far from predictable.