Most machine learning researchers expect machines will be able to create top quality music by 2036.


Evidence from survey data

In the 2016 ESPAI, participants were asked two relevant questions:

[Top forty] Compose a song that is good enough to reach the US Top 40. The system should output the complete song as an audio file.

[Taylor] Produce a song that is indistinguishable from a new song by a particular artist, e.g. a song that experienced listeners can’t distinguish from a new song by Taylor Swift.

Summary results

Answers were as follows, suggesting these milestones are likely to be reached in ten years, and quite likely to be reached in twenty years.

10 years 20 years 50 years
Top forty 27.5% 50% 90%
Taylor 60% 75% 99%
10% 50% 90%
Top forty 5 years 10 years 20 years
Taylor 5 years 10 years 20 years

Distributions of answers to Taylor question

The three figures below show how respondents were spread between different answers over time, for the respondents who answered the ‘fixed years’ framing.