There is perhaps no hotter topic spanning communications or science than A.I., with views as far-ranging as the applications it can put toward. As the debate continues as to its merits and pitfalls, A.I. does have its place in aiding and augmenting human capabilities. Where it often falls down is in trying to entirely replace, displace, or replicate the uniquely human factor of emotion, creativity and intellect. It is something we are asked about often with regard to the communications industry and creative world.
With regard to its positives, Paul McCartney announced this week on the BBC that he is utilizing A.I. to produce one final Beatles song, to be released later this year. Derrick Bryson Taylor of The New York Times reports today in fact that the song appears to be titled, “Now and Then,” one of three John Lennon demos that Yoko Ono provided to McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr back in 2001 for the Beatles Anthology series. The other two Lennon demos, “Free As A Bird” and “Real Love,” you’ll recall, were developed into full songs using a range of studio technology that existed at that time. This time around, A.I. will help regenerate the voices of both John Lennon and George Harrison.
The Beatles, of course, were early innovators and adopters of a never-ending myriad of audio tricks and tech, from tape loops and double-tracking to the early Moog synthesizer. In fact, George Harrison bought and utilized one of the very first models of the Bob Moog-created tool. Much more recently, McCartney says, he has utilized A.I. in helping his voice sound younger.
Soon, A.I. will help bring back the sound of one of the greatest bands of all time, helping to meld, combine, and produce human-created product for our benefit with a song that otherwise may never have seen the light of day. That’s a positive thing for all of us – and a virtual pat on the back for A.I.