A team of programmers and songwriters from Australia won the first (unofficial) round of Eurovision for Artificial Intelligence. Their trick was the use of a neural network trained on the sounds that koalas, kookaburras and Tasmanian devils usually make. A group called Uncanny Valley said their song is a resonant response to the wildfire season that ravaged Australia in 2019.
Even though this is an AI Song Contest, computers alone cannot compete. As is usually the case with neural network music, machine learning is used to generate some of the song elements, and people then arrange and execute the final versions of the tracks. In the case of the winning song, "Beautiful the World, " the AI was mainly used to write melodies and lyrics, while the sounds of the Australian fauna were used as the synthesizer part.
The second place in the competition was taken by Germany with the eerie song "I’ll Marry You, Punk Come" by Team Dadabots x Portrait XO. The team used an AI trained in 1950s acapellas to create the text. In the flow of chatter he created, they then tried to recognize the words. The music was written using a whole collection of neural networks trained in a variety of genres, from pop choir to baroque harmonics. The resulting track is a mixture of different styles, with one team member likening the process to “hunting and gathering”.