When AI takes on Eurovision: Can a computer write a hit song?

Enlarge / Robots are everywhere these days. (credit: NBC Universal )
Imagine assembling a crack team of musicologists to compose the perfect Eurovision hit, only to end up with a song that crescendos as a robotic voice urges listeners to “kill the government, kill the system."
That was the experience of a team of Dutch academics who, after an experiment in songwriting using artificial intelligence algorithms, inadvertently created a new musical genre: Eurovision Technofear.
The team—Can AI Kick It—used AI techniques to generate a hit predictor based on the melodies and rhythms of more than 200 classics from the Eurovision Song Contest, an annual celebration of pop music and kitsch. These included Abba’s “Waterloo” (Sweden’s 1974 winner) and Loreen’s “Euphoria” (2012, also Sweden).

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