Latest news Latest news

Return to Full Page

PhD position at the MTG to do research on Artificial Intelligence in music creation: addressing transparency and originality

PhD position at the MTG to do research on Artificial Intelligence in music creation: addressing transparency and originality



The PhD project will be carried out at the Music Technology Group, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona in collaboration with R&D Center, Sony Group Corporation, Tokyo, Japan, where the student will carry out an industrial research stay as part of the PhD.

In addition, the PhD student will interact with the HUMAINT project, Joint Research Centre, European Commission, and carry out a research stay related to the science for policy aspects of the research. 

Topic summary 

Current advancements on the naturalness and expressiveness of machine learning models for music generation have raised questions about the legal, cultural and social impact that those systems may have, including the works of musicians, producers and the listening experiences. This PhD position deals with the concept of trustworthiness in AI-powered music generation systems. The goal is to investigate how explainability and transparency can be used to inform listeners and other stakeholders about the degree to which AI technologies are involved in the music they listen to, and to relate generated music with the different components of the generation model, i.e. the dataset, algorithm (e.g. neural network architecture) and the different humans involved in the process (e.g. developer, dataset curator, composer of pieces used for training). The project will also investigate how we can characterize the originality of machine vs human-generated music by exploiting current knowledge on music similarity to assess the generated outcome with respect to the datasets used for training in terms of different facets such as melody, timbre, rhythm and musical  structure. Finally, the project will integrate knowledge and methods from machine learning explainability, music information retrieval, musicology and intellectual property.


  • At the MTG: Emilia Gómez, Xavier Serra

  • At SONY: WeiHsiang Liao, Yuki Mitsufuji

Starting date

June/September 2022

We offer

  • A 4-year fully-funded PhD studentship with main location in Barcelona, Spain 

  • Access to cutting-edge facilities and expertise in artificial intelligence (AI) and music/audio 

  • Academic, industrial and policy perspectives in three different institutions, with main location at MTG (Barcelona), continuous collaboration and research stays in SONY (Japan) and links and research stay at the HUMAINT project, Joint Research Centre, European Commission (Seville). 


The Music Technology Group (MTG) of the Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona, part of its Department of Information and Communication Technologies, carries out research on topics such as audio signal processing, music information retrieval, musical interfaces, and computational musicology. The MTG wants to contribute to the improvement of the information and communication technologies related to sound and music, carrying out competitive research at the international level and at the same time transferring its results to society. To that goal, and guided by our values, the MTG aims at finding a balance between basic and applied research while promoting interdisciplinary approaches that incorporate knowledge and methodologies from both scientific/technological and humanistic/artistic disciplines.

More information on the PhD Program in Information and Communication Technologies of Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona 

The Creative AI Lab is a research group within Sony's R&D Center located at the heart of Tokyo. We are challenging the creation of the next-generation of creative technologies that underpin Sony Group's diverse businesses in the fields of electronics, music, film, gaming and finance.

UPF has a research collaboration agreement with the Joint Research Centre, in the context of artificial intelligence and the related social, ethical and economic impact. The Joint Research Centre (JRC) is the European Commission's science and knowledge service which employs scientists to carry out research in order to provide independent scientific advice and support to EU policies. One of the sites of the JRC is located in Seville, Spain, hosting the HUMAINT team at the Digital Economy Unit, who researches on the impact of Artificial Intelligence on Human Behaviour. 

Who can apply?

We are on the lookout for outstanding students interested in the intersection of music/audio technology and AI. Successful applicants will have the following profile:

  • You have recently completed or will soon complete your master studies in Computer Science, Electronic Engineering, Music/Audio Technology, Music or Psychology.

  • You gained first experience in machine learning and signal processing applied to audio

  • You have a solid background in programming in python, Matlab or C/C++

  • You have musical training (any of performance, production, composition or theory)

  • You enjoy working in interdisciplinary teams and multicultural environments

  • You are fluent in English (written and spoken)

For this call we are inviting applications from international students. MTG’s commitment to our diverse and inclusive community is embedded in our student admissions processes. We particularly welcome applications from women and under-represented groups, and from applicants in all stages of life.

Apply Now

Interested people should send a CV, a motivation letter, and a first draft of a thesis proposal detailing a possible research plan related to one of the proposed research topics, to [email protected].

Application deadline

May 16th, 2022











ODS - Objectius de desenvolupament sostenible:

ODS - Objetivos de desarrollo sostenible:

SDG - Sustainable Development Goals:

Els ODS a la UPF Los ODS en la UPF The ODS at UPF