AI is now able to sing ‘naturally’

After showcasing its poetry skills, AI is now catching up with humans in its ability to both write lyrics and sing songs.

ET, an AI of Alibaba Cloud, writes Spring Festival couplets

On May 16, “Microsoft Little Ice”, an AI of Microsoft, announced via her Weibo account that after being trained, her singing capability is fast approaching that of her human counterparts.

The AI released her newest single via the Chinese version of Twitter on the same day. By May 25, the song had received more than 1,800 comments on NetEase Cloud Music, China’s leading music platform.

Little Ice was praised for being able to interact with listeners and write good lyrics.

Nicholas Jing Yuan, a senior scientist with Microsoft, said Little Ice had been able to take part in the song writing and sang it all by herself.

He said the AI’s ability to compose lyrics came after tens of thousands of practice attempts. He went on to disclose that to begin with, her lyrics were hardly understandable.

About 10 million lines had been written and then abandoned during the training, Yuan revealed.

Training the AI to write songs was one thing; but getting her to sing was another. In order to make her sing naturally, scientists trained Little Ice to sing under various models, which were made as close as possible to the AI’s voice and singing style.

Spectators interact with robots at the 20th China Beijing International High-Tech Expo (CHITEC), Beijing

The AI has also been trained to breathe while she sings to make her resemble a human being as much as possible, said Luan Jian, chief voice scientist on Little Ice.

Yuan said emotion and innovation have helped to make such progress. He hopes the AI will help people get more creative in such areas as song writing.

Little Ice has already mastered how to write a poem. According to reports, the AI has studied all modern poems written by some 519 poets dating as far back as the 1920s.

Luan stressed that the development of AI is not to replace human beings, but to “help them deal with complicated and less necessary work.”