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Taiwan’s Sandee Chan releases song sung by AI

Golden Melody award winning musician and AI Labs presage new era of AI-generated music

Singer Sandee Chan and Ethan Tu, the founder of AI Labs. (AI Labs photo)

Singer Sandee Chan and Ethan Tu, the founder of AI Labs. (AI Labs photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Golden Melody award winning musician Sandee Chan (陳珊妮) and the founder of Taiwan AI Labs, Ethan Tu (杜奕瑾) revealed this week that a song released under Chan’s name was actually sung by AI.

The revelation at a press event on Wednesday (March 22) shocked the local music industry and sparked discussions on just how influential technology is in the arts today. The single was released March 14 and is called “Teach Me the Ways to Be Your Love.”

It was composed by Chan and features lyrics by Chow Yiu-fai (周耀輝), one of Hong Kong's big three lyricists. The song draws inspiration from A.I.-related science fiction classics like "Her" and "Blade Runner" and uses "I Learn to Love" as a metaphor for the process of "AI learning to sing," which is ultimately human-based.

The song is accompanied by jazz pianist Martin "Musa" Musaubach, giving it a dramatic soundtrack style. In the occasionally pixellated but always moving video, Chan’s AI-generated voice is ever present, but Chan is not
shown singing.

The song was produced using Chan's past album sound files, combined with the work done by AI Labs personnel over one year. Chan then selected breaks and adjusted the Midi notes so the AI could fill in the lyrics.

She tried to avoid using auto-tune or other software to achieve the simulation of a human voice, with all its beauty and imperfections. Every breath and harmony is sung by the A.I., and even the single cover picture was generated by AI.

AI Labs founder (also originator of local bulletin board PTT) Ethan Tu, said there were no plans to launch commercial software for the project yet. However, an integrated audio-visual creation platform will be launched in the near future that can automatically generate music.

Chan has been a singer for over 25 years and has won many awards, including for her 12th studio album "Juvenile A" in 2019. She also won Golden Melody Awards for Best Album and Best Album Producer in 2005, and Best Mandarin Female Singer in 2008.

Taiwan’s Sandee Chan releases song sung by AI
Cover art for Sandee Chan's single “Teach Me the Ways to Be Your Love.”

This article was first published by Taiwan News' media partner Taiwan Beats, the world’s gateway to Taiwanese pop music.