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CMU@TGE Top Questions: Which music technologies will shape the next decade in music?

By | Published on Monday 16 April 2018

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With The Great Escape now just a month away, over the next fortnight we’ll be considering ten questions that will be answered during the three CMU Insights conferences that are set to take place there this year: The Education Conference (16 May), The AI Conference (17 May) and The China Conference (18 May). Today: Which music technologies will shape the next decade in music?

The history of the music industry is basically a story about how a sequence of new technologies respectively transformed the way music is made, performed, recorded, distributed and consumed. Each new chapter begins as a new technology takes hold and kickstarts a revolution. Although each time that happens, we know that another equally revolutionary technology isn’t far way.

Each innovation results in a new chapter. And those new chapters seem to come along with increased frequency as the years go by. However, not every technological innovation results in a revolution. One of the challenges for the music industry is working out which new technologies will take hold and are therefore worth investing in.

That’s a challenge we’ll be tackling at our AI Conference at The Great Escape this year. AI, AR, VR, blockchain and beyond, which of these technologies will really shape the next chapter in the music industry’s history? We’ll be putting that question to Imogen Heap from Mycelia, Dan Fowler from JAAK, Sammy Andrews from Deviate, Andrew Parsons from Ticketmaster UK, Manan Vohra from 7digital and Stef Pascual from Crown Talent.

Although, of course, as the name suggests, the real focus on the day will be those technologies that loosely gather under the banner of ‘artificial intelligence’. For something that has been getting a lot of attention of late – in academic, media, corporate, political and cultural circles – it’s actually quite hard to define what AI really is. No one is really sure how to define ‘intelligence’, let alone ‘artificial intelligence’.

To get a better understanding of what we mean by AI – especially from a cultural perspective – we’ll kickstart our AI Conference with some expert insights from two people who have given this matter some academic consideration: Maggie Boden from Sussex University and Marcus O’Dair from Middlesex University.

For the purposes of The AI Conference we will be mainly interested in how big data, algorithms and machine learning are being used for the purposes of recognising audio, recommending events, automating conversations and actually composing and editing video and music.

We reckon that all the technologies we’ll feature along the way will shape the next decade in music – from the way music is monitored, to the way music is marketed, and even the way music is made.

The AI Conference takes place on Thursday 17 May – more info here. See more questions we’ll answer at The Great Escape here.