Can AI read your mind? Google’s MusicLM plays your thoughts

Google experiments with brain activity and AI music generation using MusicLM

Can AI read your mind

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Google has just upped its game in the field of AI. In January, the tech firm announced a new experimental AI tool that can transform text prompts into music. Right now this application, Google MusicLM, is available to try through their dedicated AI Test Kitchen via the web or mobile. But, can AI read your mind? We explore this below as we delve into Google’s Brain2Music experiment.

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MusicLM: Google brain experiment explained

Text-to-music models have been around for some time now. But something we have not explored yet is whether your thoughts can be directly transformed into music – can AI read your mind?

Well, researchers from Google and Osaka University have been experimenting to find out if AI is able to generate music directly from our brain signals.

The project, named Brain2Music, took in five volunteers and used fMRI scanners (functional magnetic resonance imaging) to capture each individual’s human brain activity when 500 different songs were played.

These recordings generated fMRI scans that were collected and implemented into Google’s MusicLM algorithm. Meaning the model is now conditioned with the participants’ brain patterns.

Interestingly, the music generated by MusicLM was closely similar to the original songs that the five volunteers listened to. However, they did feature some semantic variations.

This led to one key finding from the experiment which is summarised as follows: “When we use data from such (brain) regions as an input for MusicLM, we can predict and reconstruct the kinds of music which the human subject was exposed to.”

Therefore revealing that AI models, like MusicLM, can reproduce similar music by taking in the brain activity and patterns of human users.

So, can AI read your mind? Well, not in the way that most people suspect. Although, it is quite clear from this experiment that AI does have the ability to decode human brain patterns to reveal what a person was seeing, hearing, or feeling.

MusicLM: Google’s AI music generator

Google MusicLM is an AI model that can generate high-fidelity music from a short text description. This AI goes one step further than just creating short songs, however. MusicLM has the ability to expand on existing melodies whether they are hummed, sung, or performed using instruments.

Engineers at Google have been able to develop a technique that models the conditional music creation process as a “hierarchical sequence-to-sequence” modeling task.

As a result, the AI can transform any text prompt into a melody that can last several minutes. So no matter what your idea is or what genre you have in mind, MusicLM can reproduce your thoughts into a short audio clip.

If you are interested in listening to some examples, definitely check out Google’s dedicated GitHub page.

Here you will find a variety of unique AI-generated audios from arcade game soundtracks to relaxing jazz pieces.

When using the new AI tool expect to receive two output tracks. Google has developed a feedback system, where you will be asked to rank which track is best using a trophy symbol. This is to provide feedback to engineers allowing them to improve MusicLM’s model for the future.

Is MusicLM available to use?

Yes, Google’s MusicLM is now available for public testing via the AI Test Kitchen. Although, in order to access the AI music generator you will have to sign up for the waitlist.

How does AI know what I’m thinking?

Strictly speaking, AI cannot read minds. However, there are a number of ways AI can act as a human brain decoder. Depending on the model, the AI system is able to infer your thoughts through a number of methods. For example through your facial expression, choice of language, or through a person’s brain activity.

These types of technologies work by being trained on a large set of data containing any of these inputs. In essence, this process teaches the AI to recognize certain behaviors by helping them link them to particular emotions or feelings.

Final Thoughts

Google’s MusicLM is a quirky new edition to the tech firm’s suite of AI apps. Following their recent experiment with Osaka University, it seems as though MusicLM does have some level of mind-reading technology.

If you’re looking for more AI articles, you can check out our what is ChatGPT and what is it used for article, as well as our best ‘Dark Web ChatGPT’ – Is your data safe piece.

Funmi joined PC Guide in November 2022 and has a knowledge of AI apps, gaming and consumer technology.