Aussie tech team to take out Eurovision-style AI song contest

Uncanny Valley are the AI-produced soundtrack of iso. Image: YouTube

Australian producers, data scientists and academics are using their computer science smarts to take out Eurovision 2.0.

With the 2020 Eurovision Song Contest cancelled last month due to coronavirus, Dutch broadcaster VPRO launched their own virtual version.

Same insane outfits, extravagant dance moves and over-the-top lyrics, but with one major difference – all the tunes were written by robots.

Submissions for the international Artificial Intelligence Song Contest have come from all over Europe, but we’re particularly stoked on our own local entry, created by highly skilled tech collective Uncanny Valley.

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Made up of big-deal Aussie data scientists, producers and academics (Charlton Hill, Caroline Pegram, Justin Shave, Dr. Oliver Bown, Dr. Alexandra L. Uitdenbogerd, Dr. Brendan Wright and Sally-Ann Williams), the group used AI algorithms to create ‘Beautiful the World’ in association with Google’s Sydney-based Creative Lab.

“It is deeply interesting to watch an algorithm discover patterns that underlie music, those which we as experienced listeners find so natural, yet so difficult to describe when prompted,” Wright said in a statement.

“It’s exactly the same concept as trying to predict the closing value of the stock market tomorrow based on the previous week’s values,” added Bown.

The track plays tribute to the bushfires that devastated the country earlier this year, incorporating samples of koalas, kookaburras and Tasmanian devils alongside mash-ups of well-known Eurovision anthems.

Wondering how a robot can sound so legit? Although AI created the track’s melody and lyrics, Uncanny Valley used real-life producers and vocalists to complete it.

Humans have until May 10 to vote.

Cassie Steel

Author: Cassie Steel

As Refraction’s digital editor, Cassie Steel spends her days researching robots and stalking famous scientists on Twitter.


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