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Challenges and Opportunities in Music Tech

Challenges and Opportunities in Music Tech
Open discussion among all relevant stakeholders in order to identify the challenges and opportunities that AI and other recent technologies bring to the music sector

The processes of creating, disseminating, learning and listening to music are being completely transformed by artificial intelligence (AI) and other emerging technologies. This transformation brings challenges and opportunities to the music sector, but also has an important impact on society and culture in general. In order to create solutions to support a fair and transparent digital transformation of the sector it is essential to understand the needs and concerns of all relevant stakeholders. 

For this reason this project proposes an open discussion among the different stakeholders (music industry professionals, music creators, listeners, music students, archivers, music tech developers…) to identify the problems and opportunities that the use of AI and other emerging technologies have in the whole music sector. Out of this open discussion the project will propose solutions to support the creation of better music technology solutions.

The project is structured into three sequential actions: 

(1) Opinion gathering through interviews and work groups with different agents (professionals and users of technologies), to reflect, identify problems, and propose solutions to the challenges posed by the use of AI and other emerging technologies in the different steps of the music creation-consumption pipeline. We are focusing on 'Music creation', 'Music listening', 'Sound and Music archives' and 'Music education'. 

(2) Open debate with talks and discussion panels aimed at different stakeholders of the music sector and the general audience to present the opinions gathered in the first action and raise awareness, train, and foster critical thinking around the use of AI and other emerging technologies in music. 

(3) Article based on the discussion, proposals, and feedback from the different stakeholders.

The Music Technology Group (MTG) of the Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona has extensive experience in carrying out research projects with an impact on society. Created in 1994, the research group has about 50 members who work on different topics related to the technologies applied to music creation, understanding, consumption, education and wellbeing. Some of the most popular products arising from the research group's projects are: Reactable (interactive digital instrument), Vocaloid (singing voice synthesizer) or Freesound (sound exchange platform).

Specifically, the group has an extensive experience in research and development of recommendation systems, and has studied the impact of music technology in the cultural and gender diversity, publishing scientific articles on these topics. The fact that the MTG is a research group in the intersection of the music and the technology sectors, facilitates that the group can foster this balanced dialogue between the different agents, and also, thanks to its more than 25 years of active work, has a great influence in the scientific community and the capacity to achieve a relevant impact in the future development of AI.

Project coordination contact: [email protected]

Duration of the project: January 2022 - April 2023

This project is supported by MusicAIRE initiative (funded by the European Union under Music Moves Europe program), and Ajuntament de Barcelona.