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Reproducing Lennon's voice possible with AI

Posted June. 15, 2023 08:03,   

Updated June. 15, 2023 08:03


The legendary British band The Beatles has decided to use artificial intelligence (AI) to release a new song for the first time in 27 years since 1996. AI-generated Lennon's voice will be added to the unfinished song left by the band member John Lennon, who died in a shooting accident in 1980. The Beatles formed in 1960 and disbanded in 1970 after leaving numerous hits. Of the four members, John Lennon and George Harrison have passed away, while Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr are still alive.

On Tuesday (local time), McCartney appeared on British BBC radio and recently said, “I finished working on the last song of the Beatles a while ago. By training the AI to learn the demo song John Lennon recorded on a cassette tape, John's voice was clearly extracted.” He also said he would release this song before the end of the year.

Although McCartney did not reveal the new song's title, the New York Times (NYT) and others reported that it was likely "Now and Then." McCartney received the demo in 1994 from Lennon's second wife, Japanese artist Yoko Ono. The song was reportedly included on the cassette tape titled "For Paul" shortly before his death.

The Beatles members attempted to complete this song 27 years ago but gave up due to the low quality of the recording compared to the other two songs and the fact that the lyrics had many blanks that needed filling. At the time, McCartney said in a magazine interview, "It's a song with a beautiful line, but I stopped finishing it because I wasn't satisfied with the work."

However, with the advancement of AI technologies, this time it is known that not only did Lennon's clear voice be extracted, but he was also able to modify the melody. "It's a bit scary but exciting," McCartney said. "This is the future." The NYT commented, “McCartney is a curious artist with a history of quickly adopting new technologies that have changed music trends, such as synthesizers and sampling.”