Breakthrough Collaboration: Golden Melody Artist Sandee Chan x Taiwan AI Labs
In a groundbreaking collaboration, Golden Melody Award-winning artist Sandee Chan(陳珊妮) has joined forces with Taiwan AI Labs to unveil Taiwan's first-ever AI single, marking the dawn of the era of AI singers.
On White Day, March 14, Sandee Chan released her new single, "Teach Me The Ways To Be Your Love." During the media conference for "Who's Singing - AI Future Singers Have Arrived" held today (22nd), Sandee Chan and Taiwan AI Labs founder, Ethan Tu(杜奕瑾), revealed a surprising fact: Sandee Chan is not the original singer of the song. Instead, it was produced by Sandee Chan, who trained an AI to generate the vocals. This makes "Teach Me The Ways To Be Your Love" the first AI single in Taiwan that closely resembles a real human. The collaboration between Sandee Chan and Taiwan AI Labs not only marks the arrival of AI future singers but also signifies a significant breakthrough in combining Taiwan's pop music with AI technology.
In the current era of AI technology, which has become a hot topic, AI has primarily been used in the music market to reproduce the voices of deceased singers. However, in 2023, Sandee Chan collaborated with engineers from Taiwan AI Labs to release Taiwan's first single featuring a singer who is still active online, providing the voice source. Sandee Chan personally guided and produced the AI-sung single, "Teach Me The Ways To Be Your Love." Sandee Chan expressed, "This is a song sung by Sandee Chan but not sung by Sandee Chan." The song, with its nuanced rhythms, pauses, and breathing, sounds as if Sandee Chan herself performed it. In reality, it was created by the AI, which absorbed dozens of high-quality voice recordings made by Sandee Chan. Through iterative training, the AI achieved vocal stability, giving birth to its "singing ability."
Sandee Chan insisted on using techniques of real singers for backing vocals, enabling the AI to sing different lengths of lyrics separately. This approach allowed for easy editing of words and phrases during post-production, making the AI's vocals sound more natural. While AI vocals have often been described as a "singing machine," struggling to convey the emotions of real human voices, Sandee Chan attempted to challenge the emotional limits of AI singing with "Teach Me The Ways To Be Your Love." The song, categorized as a simple, slow love song without complex instrumentation, aimed to surpass the emotional authenticity of Japan's "VOCALOID" and South Korea's "Supertone," marking a significant advancement in Taiwan's AI vocal technology.
Composed by Sandee Chan, with lyrics by renowned Hong Kong lyricist Chow Yiu Fai(周耀輝), "Teach Me The Ways To Be Your Love" draws inspiration from classic sci-fi works related to AI, such as "Her" and "Blade Runner." The lyrics metaphorically convey the process of "AI learning to sing" by using the theme "I've learned to be a lover." The song's arrangement challenges the acoustic style, featuring only jazz pianist Martin Musa as accompaniment. This choice demanded that the AI learn from Sandee Chan to reveal its singing limitations. The AI Vocal technology, refined through meticulous tuning by music professionals, successfully deceived the ears of even experienced musicians, marking a significant milestone.
Sandee Chan played the finished song for her producer and singer friends, asking for their opinions through blind listening. Fellow artists shared their feelings, with Huang Yun-Ling(黃韻玲) expressing, "This is the most beautiful expression of loneliness, truly touching." Wang Chi-ping(王治平) praised, "What a beautiful song! There are not many songs in this era that are so enduring." Other Golden Melody Award-winning singers,Lala Hsu(徐佳瑩) and Waa Wei(魏如萱), also shared their sentiments. Kay Liu(劉家凱), the producer, reflected, "At 2:55, the piano ripples like waves. In an instant, I heard some answers about love and myself." Recording engineer Huang Wen-Hsuan commented, "Perhaps the purpose of being loved or loving someone is to prove the existence of something that doesn't exist." Many fans and netizens shared their emotional responses, stating, "Cried while listening! Already on repeat over a hundred times," and "Sandee Chan's voice always makes it impossible to stop."
In the current discussion about AI development, creators experience both excitement and concern. Sandee Chan hopes that through this song, everyone involved in artistic creation will reflect on the impending AI era. Instead of worrying about being replaced, creators should consider "what more we can do." Sandee Chan earnestly stated that the collaboration on this AI song significantly proves that "the work of a music producer cannot be replaced." The process of AI backing vocals ultimately requires the involvement of professional music producers to guide AI to a level where it possesses emotional depth. This declaration reinforces the idea that "human thought and will are what make us human."
In conclusion, Sandee Chan encouraged everyone to explore the question raised by "Teach Me The Ways To Be Your Love": "If AI can simulate everything about the original singer, what is the intrinsic value of the original singer or creator?" This song is likely to impact existing systems, such as "ownership of legal copyrights" or the question of whether AI can receive the "Best Female Singer Award" in music awards ceremonies. These are subjects that we will continue to ponder in the future.
The release of "Teach Me The Ways To Be Your Love" symbolizes a significant breakthrough for Taiwan AI Labs in AI-generated music technology. Beyond assisting musicians, this technology can be applied to create soundtracks for films and TV shows and even develop AI virtual singers and musicians. Moving forward, Taiwan AI Labs plans to release the AI generation tools that spawned this song, aiming to empower the public to create music with AI assistance. Additionally, Taiwan AI Labs is developing an integrated audio-visual creation platform called "Yating Studio." This platform not only provides AI-generated music creation tools for video background music but also integrates the well-known "Yating Verbatim Transcript" in Taiwan. It includes high-accuracy speech recognition, real-time subtitle generation, instant translation, and automatic content summary to aid video editing. With other advanced features, the platform aims to be an all-in-one AI tool, making audio-visual creation more accessible and enjoyable.
Taiwan AI Labs' Art Team is dedicated to researching AI music composition and AI image creation. Since 2019, under the leadership of Dr. Yang Yih-Shyhuan(楊奕軒博士), the team has gained attention and usage in open-source music tools and models. They have also published their findings at top conferences and journals such as AAAI and ICML, sharing their achievements with the academic community (see https://github.com/YatingMusic).