An Australian songwriting team known as Uncanny Valley have won an Artificial Intelligence Eurovision-style Song Contest.
Their song Beautiful The World, inspired by bushfire devastation and recovery, was voted a clear winner in the online contest conducted by Dutch broadcaster VPRO.
The AI contest required music, lyrics & production constructed with artificial intelligence, by training algorithms on past Eurovision songs.
A total of 13 teams took part, from the Netherlands, Australia, Sweden, Belgium, the UK, France, Germany and Switzerland.
The winner was scored by a panel of experts and fans, but it was the public who overwhelmingly voted for the Aussie entry which created a synthesiser audio drawn from the sounds of koalas, kookaburras and Tasmanian devils.
The event host Lieven Scheire said “The first Australian victory in Eurovision was done by an AI team!”
“We are elated to have won the inaugural AI Song Contest and to be highlighting the co-creative opportunities that artificial intelligence and machine learning can bring to the music industry,” says Caroline Pegram, producer and strategist at Uncanny Valley.
“The competition brought together the top minds in this field to explore the idea of what can be achieved when musicians rage with the machines. The fact that we were able to use technology to blend in the message of the devastation of the bushfires in Australia early this year, clearly struck a chord.”
Team member Dr Oliver Bown said, “It is fantastic to see creative applications of AI to music being explored in such a fun mainstream context as this. I like how EuroAI competition combined a more technical process of peer review – with expert judges looking at the guts of each process and understanding how they worked – with a more fun popular vote.
“It was an incredibly collaborative experience, with the team drawing together an eclectic group of skills and hacking open-source machine learning tools that various labs around the world have generously made available for free.”
Co-founder (and ex-Home & Away star) Charlton Hill described the song as fun.
“This is an intrinsic aspect of the Eurovision Song Contest but it’s also in the team’s DNA. It had to be the kind of song you could play on both a guitar around a campfire and in a nightclub.
“It’s great that the judges and public responded to this.”