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Introducing the AI Song Contest!

11 May 2020 at 16:00 CEST
AI Song Contest VPRO
Teams from all over Europe and Australia will compete against each other in the AI Song Contest in an attempt to create the next Eurovision hit using artificial intelligence. The winning song and team will be crowned in a rivetting live-streamed final on 12 May.

In the AI Song Contest, teams composed of musicians, artists, scientists and programmers have been flexing their creative muscles to see what affect artificial intelligence (AI) could have on the music industry. By working with existing and newly-created data, 13 teams from Australia, Sweden, Belgium, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Switzerland and the Netherlands aim to find the formula that leads to the perfect Eurovision song.

AI Song Contest VPRO

The AI Song Contest is an online project organised by Dutch public broadcaster VPRO in collaboration with NPO Innovation and NPO 3FM.

The Contest re-generated

The host of the AI Song Contest will be Belgian comedian Lieven Scheire, who always dreamed of presenting the Eurovision Song Contest. The audience rankings will be announced by Emma Wortelboer.

AI Song Contest host Lieven Scheire Jelle Vermeersch

While composer and AI researcher Vincent Koops will reveal the points awarded by the jury. The thirteen participating teams will be present via a live connection in a digital greenroom. Expect a combination of Eurovision Song Contest glee, science, glitter, and computer code!

Who will win?

Fans were invited to get involved and cast their vote for their favourite entry. Voting closed on 10 May but you can still listen to all the songs on VPRO's website .

A panel of AI experts will also evaluate the songs on an AI level, including Vincent Koops (the Netherlands), Senior Data Scientist at RTL and composer, Anna Huang (United States), leading AI researcher in music generation, and Ed Newton-Rex (UK), Composer and Director at the AI lab at ByteDance.

The best track, as chosen by a mix of audience members and AI experts, will be unveiled in an exciting live-streamed final on Tuesday 12 May at 20:30 CEST:

How does AI work?

The AI Song Contest is a public project researching the creative abilities of artificial intelligence and its impact on us. To generate new music, AI models (just like a human composer) have to 'listen' to large amounts of existing music (data) before it can generate meaningful musical ideas. Therefore the teams will work with existing data and newly-created data.

Want to learn more about computer-composed hits?

As an extension of the AI Song Contest, the VPRO presents a YouTube series about AI and music, following one of the Dutch teams through the creative process. The five episodes. shared on 3FM's YouTube channel, explore the different aspects of AI. The team formulates the ingredients for the ultimate hit, looks for ways to let a computer compose a catchy melody on its own, and gets a machine to write the lyrics.

Will an AI song one day feature in the Eurovision Song Contest's greatest hits? To find out if computers can generate a song more popular than Duncan Lawrence’s Arcade or Abba's Waterloo, set a reminder to your calendar for 12 May when the winner will be announced.

Who will scoop up 'douze points' and win the AI Song Contest 2020? You'll have to tune in at 20:30 CEST to find out!