Mister Shadow

Screengrab via Sony CSL- Paris/YouTube

This computer sure likes the Beatles.

Robots are already making cashiers obsolete—now they’re targeting the musicians who staff America’s grocery stores. 

Sony has unveiled two songs written by artificial intelligence, by way of the company’s Flow Machines software. To be sure, the final products—“Daddy’s Car” and “Mister Shadow”—were produced and arranged by French composer Benoît Carré. But still.

“Daddy’s Car” may be a hacky ripoff that falls somewhere between the Beatles and Tame Impala for its mid-’60s British rock stylings, but hey, blame the software. 

The second track, “Mr. Shadow,” is an electronic jazz soundscape that lands. According to Sony, it’s “composed in the style of American songwriters such as Irving Berlin, Duke Ellington, George Gershwin and Cole Porter.” Another clear ripoff, but with enough modern zest on the electronic beat to turn heads.

The Flow Machines software learns music from its massive database of songs. Then it gets to composing once it explores “unique combinations of style transfer, optimization and interaction techniques,” writes Sony.

The full Flow Machines album is due in 2017. 

H/T Pitchfork

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