Once More, With Feeling: AIs Are Composing Soundtracks but Are Stuck on Creativity
Innovator Ed Rex
Co-founder and chief executive officer of Jukedeck, an 18-employee AI startup in London
Form and Function
Jukedeck is artificially intelligent music-composition software, designed to give YouTubers and other video makers a way to quickly and cheaply create soundtracks for their work.
In 2011, Rex, a classically trained pianist and composer, began learning to code, believing he could train a computer to write music.
He started Jukedeck in 2012 with Patrick Stobbs, a musician and Google veteran.
Jukedeck has been programmed with a library of sheet music that helps it distinguish, say, rock from jazz, and figure out how to structure and produce a song.
On Jukedeck’s website, a user selects a song’s length, genre, tempo, and other features; the software spits out a finished composition in seconds.
Companies with more than 10 employees pay $22 a song; otherwise, they’re free, as long as the user credits Jukedeck.
Jukedeck says it’s raised about $3.5 million in venture capital and private investment.
Jukedeck is working with broadcaster UKTV to pair the software’s creations with ads on their network, and Rex says he’s talking to several other companies about similar projects. Eventually he plans to create film-quality soundtracks that adapt to your day as you live it, changing based on your location and other inputs. David Cope, a composer who’s used AI-written material in his work, says computers are getting better at creativity, but to win over skeptics, Jukedeck will have to produce something legitimately good.
(Updated to correct per-song pricing.)