AI Baby's First Album

Here’s What an Album Between a Musician and an “AI Baby” Sounds Like

And it's a wild mix of...alien folk singing and beatboxing.

5. 10. 19 by Victor Tangermann
Image by 4AD

AI Baby’s First Album

Conceptual sound artist and composer Holly Herndon released her new artificial intelligence-inspired album PROTO today. PROTO, Hedron’s fourth album, was a collaboration between Herndon and a sophisticated machine-learning program called “Spawn” — her “AI baby.”

Herndon’s Spawn is an “inhuman intelligence housed in a DIY souped-up gaming PC” according to a statement that “places an emphasis on alien song craft and new forms of communion.” Spawn also learned from “hundreds of people” how to “identify and reinterpret unfamiliar sounds in group call-and-response singing sessions” at “live training ceremonies” that took place in Berlin.

For the track “Godmother,” Herndon collaborated with artist Jlin to have Spawn regurgitate electronic beats creating an eerie nightmarish beatboxing sound.

Interacting with Beauty

The official video for a different track called “Eternal” brings in the visual aspects of AI. It was “constructed from footage processed from the perspective of an intelligent machine, analyzing and searching for a face, yearning for a connection,” according to a press release at the time.


“I don’t want to live in a world in which humans are automated off stage,” added Herndon. “I want an A.I. to be raised to appreciate and interact with that beauty.”

READ MORE: A Chat With Holly Herndon About Making Music With AI, Artistic Necrophilia, and Embracing the Inhuman [Jezebel]

More on Herndon: Listen To An AI’s Nightmarish Beatboxing

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