In a remarkable technological innovation, renowned music composer AR Rahman has harnessed the power of artificial intelligence to resurrect the voices of legendary playback singers Bamba Bakya and Shahul Hameed in the upcoming film, Lal Salaam. Using an AI platform called Timeless Voices, Rahman has reintroduced these mesmerizing vocal talents to a new generation.
Rahman, the maestro who holds technology close to his heart, first sparked curiosity at the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show. Here, he utilized Intel’s Curie-based technology to create music without physical instruments. Now, he’s leveraging AI to pay tribute to lost music legends, marking an exciting advancement in the integration of music and technology.
In a tweet shared by Rahman, he shared how they obtained permission and provided deserving remuneration to the families for using voice algorithms of the deceased singers. He stressed the idea that “technology is not a threat or a nuisance, if we use it right”.
Timeless Voices AI works by preserving the voices of legendary artists using AI technology, providing music producers with the tool to create eponymous vocals. It prides itself on its ethical practices, ensuring fair compensation and protecting the rights of artists.
However, not everyone was thrilled with Rahman’s project. There was a mix of applause and disapproval from the industry. Some feared that the widespread use of this AI technology could threaten the job security of current artists. Others, however, praised the evolution, expressing how the ethical use of AI can advance the industry.
Amid the mixed reactions, some fans took the opportunity to request for the return of other departed talents, such as the legendary SP Balasubramanian. Some contemporary and emerging artists are embracing this paradigm shift in the music industry, emphasizing it as an innovation rather than a threat.
Continuing the Legacy
This isn’t the first time we have seen AI being used to honor the legacy of lost icons. Recently, MG utilized AI to create a virtual representation of Cecil Kimber, the visionary who established MG’s legacy back in 1924. The past becomes present through cutting-edge AI technology.
Whilst opinions vary, the intersection of AI and music marks an exciting, albeit controversial, frontier in technological advancement. It’s a reminder that artists’ legacies can continue to live beyond their passing and inspire future generations.
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