Consider this quote from Virtual Musicians, Real Performances: How Artificial Intelligence Will Change Music:

Ever wonder how Jimi Hendrix would cover Lady Gaga? The day is approaching when you should be able to find out.

Musicians’ opportunities to sell their recordings may be drying up due to cultural shifts brought on by changing technology, but other aspects of technology are creating a promising new market for music: the licensing of the musical style or personality of recording artists.

The concept goes well beyond basing the avatars in guitar-based videogames on famous performers, although the idea is similar. Using complex software, North Carolina’s Zenph Sound Innovations models the musical performances of musicians from Thelonius Monk to Rachmaninoff, based on how they played in occasionally old, scratchy recordings. Using that model, the company creates new recordings as they would be played by deceased musicians, if they were around to record with today’s equipment, to critical acclaim. And that’s just for starters.

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