Inside YouTube

By Lyor Cohen and Toni Reid, Global Head of Music, YouTube and Vice President, Emerging Experiences & Community Products

Nov 16, 2023

minute read

Today we’re sharing a sneak peek at our first set of AI-related music experiments – Dream Track for Shorts and Music AI tools – built in collaboration with Google DeepMind.

The emergence of AI has brought music to the cusp of a new creative era. As a myriad of companies map out their AI approach, we want ours to be defined by partnership and responsibility. That’s why we developed a set of AI Music principles and a Music AI incubator published earlier this year that are rooted in responsible collaboration. Since then, we’ve been exploring the possibilities of how AI can empower creativity alongside artists, songwriters, producers and our partners while also identifying its challenges. By testing and learning, we can better understand how to enhance artist and industry opportunity and deepen fan engagement, benefiting the broader music community.

With that in mind, today we’re sharing an early look at some of the AI music experiments we’ve been developing together with Google DeepMind. While initially only available to a small group of artists and creators, we look forward to hearing their feedback to inform future products and tools.

Introducing the Dream Track for Shorts and Music AI Tools Experiments

First up is an experiment we are calling Dream Track in YouTube Shorts, powered by Google DeepMind’s most advanced music generation model to date, Lyria. At this initial phase, the experiment is designed to help explore how the technology could be used to create deeper connections between artists and creators, and ultimately, their fans. Starting today, 9 artists including Alec Benjamin, Charlie Puth, Charli XCX, Demi Lovato, John Legend, Papoose, Sia, T-Pain, and Troye Sivan who have chosen to collaborate in this experiment and work with us to shape the future of AI in music, are giving a small group of select US creators the chance to create unique soundtracks of up to 30 seconds for their Shorts. By simply typing an idea into the creation prompt and selecting a participating artist that appears in the carousel, an original Shorts soundtrack featuring the AI-generated voice of that artist will be produced for the creator to use in their Short.

I’m extremely excited and inspired… YouTube has been a great partner in outlining their approach to AI and understands the need to work together to develop this technology responsibly, ensuring it will accelerate creativity instead of replacing it.”

Charlie Puth

To hear more what the Artists themselves have to say about our collaboration, read here. We also have a few sample Dream Tracks created by participating artists Charlie Puth and T-Pain to help get creators inspired!

Mock of the Dream Track Experiment in YouTube Shorts

Mock of the Dream Track Experiment in YouTube Shorts

The artists, songwriters and producers in the Music AI Incubator are helping us test, learn, gain feedback and hear ideas so that we can develop the best experiences possible for our community of artists, viewers and fans. It was clear early on that this initial group of participants were intensely curious about AI tools that could push the limits of what they thought possible. They also sought out tools that could bolster their creative process. As a result, those early sessions led us to iterate on a set of music AI tools that experiment with those concepts. Imagine being able to more seamlessly turn one’s thoughts and ideas into music; like creating a new guitar riff just by humming it or taking a pop track you are working on and giving it a reggaeton feel. We’re developing prospective tools that could bring these possibilities to life and Music AI Incubator participants will be able to test them out later this year.

Combined, these experiments explore the potential of AI features to help artists and creators stretch their imaginations and augment their creative processes. And in turn, fans will be able to connect to the creatives they love in new ways, bringing them closer together through interactive tools and experiences. All of this will help us iterate and enhance the technology, informing applications for the future.

I have always been about pushing the boundaries of technology and harnessing it to make the most interesting music for my fans. Who knows what the future holds but joining hands with YouTube + Google to help shape that future feels like a great first step.”

T-Pain

Despite the tremendous opportunity AI presents, we also recognize it’s a quickly evolving space that presents complex challenges. One of YouTube’s greatest strengths is our strong relationships with music industry partners. We’re committed to collaborating with them as we enter this new era, critically exploring together new opportunities and developing sensible and sustainable controls, monetization and attribution frameworks. We’re still in the early stages of this work and expect that we’ll continue to evolve our approach as we learn more. You can read more about YouTube’s progress in responsible AI innovation here.

When technological innovation, human imagination, and music meet, extraordinary things can happen. Take the synthesizer, which changed the face of electronic and rock music. It’s still early days but we are motivated by our progress in AI and music and are energized by the possibilities that lie ahead.

As we continue to test and learn in these early experiments with our collaborators, we look forward to finding new ways to enrich music creation and help forge deeper connections across our communities. Our principles will continue to underpin and guide our work to build tools that empower artists, thrill fans and push the limits of creativity on YouTube in a bold and responsible way.

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