Former Google DeepMind researchers launch AI-powered music creation app Udio

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A team of former Google DeepMind researchers has launched Udio, a new app that leverages artificial intelligence to enable anyone to create professional-quality music in minutes. The app, which was previously available only in closed beta, has already garnered attention from music industry luminaries such as will.i.am, Common, and Kevin Wall.

Udio’s cofounder and CEO, David Ding, believes the app will become a powerful tool for artists to increase their creative output. “We have already seen how incredibly talented musicians, producers, and creators use the app in their iterative process by testing out lyrics and experimenting with new beats and harmonies,” Ding said in a recent interview with VentureBeat.

The app allows users to create music by simply typing a description of the desired genre, providing lyrics or a subject, and indicating inspiring artists. Within 40 seconds, Udio generates a fully mastered, high-quality audio track. Users can then edit and iterate on their creations using the app’s “vary” feature, which enables them to adjust the sound and length of the track.

Udio has implemented safeguards, including automated copyright filters, to ensure that the music created on the platform is original and does not infringe on any copyrights. Ding emphasized the company’s commitment to this issue, telling VentureBeat, “We have extensive automated copyright filters in place to ensure our outputs do not infringe copyrighted material. The team is continually refining our safeguards, but we are deeply committed to ensure all works created on our platform are novel.”

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Backing from prominent investors

The app has received backing from prominent investors such as Andreessen Horowitz and angel investors like Mike Krieger, co-founder and CTO of Instagram. Krieger expressed his enthusiasm for Udio, saying in a statement sent to VentureBeat, “It’s early days but just like Instagram brought photography sharing to the masses, I believe Udio has the power to bring music creation to the masses as well.”

From a business perspective, Udio has the potential to disrupt the music industry by democratizing music creation and providing artists with new revenue streams. “For up-and-coming artists, who often do not have the resources to make full demos, it is now possible for them to create their own tracks for far less money,” Ding explained. “We think that a new generation of artists and producers will benefit tremendously from the speed and ease-of-use the platform offers.”

Navigating concerns and future implications

However, the rise of AI-powered music creation tools like Udio also raises concerns about the role of human musicians and the potential for deepfakes and voice impersonation. Ding acknowledged these concerns, saying, “Obviously, it’s still early days and the product isn’t perfect, but we’re collaborating closely with artists and those in the industry to ensure the proper safeguards are in place.”

As Udio enters the market, it joins a growing field of AI music generation tools, including established players like Suno V3 and Stable Audio 2.0. While these platforms have made significant strides in creating high-quality, AI-generated music, Udio’s intuitive interface and ability to generate fully mastered tracks based on simple text prompts set it apart.

However, the true test for Udio will be whether its output can consistently match or exceed the quality of its competitors. Early indications are promising, but the app will need to demonstrate its capabilities across a wide range of genres and use cases to solidify its position in the market.

Like its rivals, Udio will also need to navigate the complex legal and ethical landscape surrounding AI-generated music, including issues related to copyright, deepfakes, and voice impersonation. The company’s commitment to implementing robust safeguards is a step in the right direction, but the effectiveness of these measures remains to be seen.

Despite these challenges, Udio has the potential to change the way people make music, providing new opportunities for artists and producers to create catchy tracks quickly and cost-effectively. As the AI music generation space continues to evolve, the competition between Udio, Suno V3, Stable Audio 2.0, and other emerging tools will likely drive innovation and expand the creative possibilities for musicians and music enthusiasts alike.