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Jukebox is a neural network created by OpenAI that is capable of generating original music in the styles of thousands of different artists and in hundreds of genres, as well as generating new continuations of existing songs. Jukebox has recieved attention online for the uncanny quality of its generated samples, as well as the creative and ethical implications of the software.
The use of neural networks to create music has advanced in recent years, with the development of software such as Google’s Tacotron in 2017 (a vocal synthesis tool tailored towards speech, but also capable of utilising singing or rapping as its training data) and OpenAI’s MuseNet in 2019 (capable of extending MIDI files in various styles). However, an all-in-one solution capable of generating music as raw audio remained elusive until the release of Jukebox.
OpenAI introduced Jukebox on April 30th 2020, outlining its method of operation and sharing examples of its output on a blog post. Along with this post they released the software’s Python code, a paper describing the mechanisms of the network in more depth, and a “sample explorer”, featuring thousands of samples generated by Jukebox. The readme of the Python code repository on Github contained a link to a Google Colab page featuring the Jukebox code, allowing the software to be run directly from a home browser while hosted on a Google GPU.
The release of Jukebox was initially reported on several tech news sites, including The Verge, Nerdist and MIT Technology Review. On April 30th, Twitch streamer Vinesauce – known for past streams of AI generated content such as thiscatdoesnotexist.com and talktotransformer.com – streamed a selection of samples from the OpenAI website. The next day, on May 1st, YouTube user Lil’Alien uploaded a video featuring continuations of Rick Astley’s Never Gonna Give You Up from the OpenAI sample explorer. The stream and video are both regarded as having introduced Jukebox to a wider online audience, and the latter remains the most popular Jukebox video to date, having gained over 4.8 million views as of November 2020.
Initially many Jukebox videos simply consisted of other pre-generated samples from the official explorer; however, with the eventual discovery of the Google Colab page, it soon became possible for people to generate their own samples and continuations. Since then many YouTube channels have turned their attention towards uploading songs made or extended with Jukebox, including AI Radio – AI Generated Music, Broccaloo, leonardog27, Mattie Konig, the shivers, Joey, and more.
By November 2020 Jukebox had recieved coverage on several mainstream news sites, including The Guardian and The Daily Mail.
[gallery of these videos:]
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6oQ0Obi14rM [Two Minute Papers report on Jukebox]
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iJgNpm8cTE8 [Never Gonna Give You Up, OpenAI/Lil’Alien]
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pj5q_gsVzcE&t=647s [new Pink Floyd songs, OpenAI/Семен Ахметов]
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8sFXsP71wfA [All Star, Broccaloo]
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NRw1D7X5yRk [Feel Good Inc, AI Radio]
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5wl29laSOU4 [The Universe is a Glitch, Gwern/N Sheppherd/Mattie Konig]
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