Paul McCartney is using AI to create a “final” Beatles song

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Sir Paul McCartney has jumped on the artificial intelligence bandwagon to help create “the final Beatles record”.

In an interview with BBC Radio 4’s Martha Kearney, McCartney says that AI has been used to take John Lennon’s voice from old audio, and strip it from its instrumental background.

It is believed that this “final” song was supposed to be released in 1995, alongside Real Love and Free as a Bird.

The band abandoned the track, titled Now And Then, as “the quality of Lennon’s vocal was rubbish”. Therefore, the use of AI could mean that this track has the potential of coming back to life.

The turning point of using AI in The Beatles’ music, was during Peter Jackson’s Get Back documentary, where the dialogue editor trained the computer to recognise the Beatles’ voices, and separate them from background noises.

“We had John’s voice and a piano and he could separate them with AI. They tell the machine, ‘That’s the voice. This is a guitar. Lose the guitar’.

“So when we came to make what will be the last Beatles’ record, it was a demo that John had [and] we were able to take John’s voice and get it pure through this AI. Then we can mix the record, as you would normally do. So it gives you some sort of leeway.”

Despite AI’s impressive ability to extract Lennon’s vocals, McCartney admits that other uses for AI are concerning.

“I’m not on the internet that much [but] people will say to me, ‘Oh, yeah, there’s a track where John’s singing one of my songs’, and it’s just AI, you know?

“It’s kind of scary but exciting, because it’s the future. We’ll just have to see where that leads.”


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