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TikTok can generate AI songs, but it probably shouldn’t

Jan 19, 2024

TikTok has launched many songs that have gone viral over the years, but now it’s testing a feature that lets more people exercise their songwriting skills… with some help from AI.

AI Song generates songs from text prompts with help from the large language model Bloom. Users can write out lyrics on the text field when making a post. TikTok will then recommend AI Song to add sounds to the post, and they can toggle the song’s genre.

“It’s not technically an AI song generator — the name is likely to change and it is currently in testing at the moment,” Barney Hooper, spokesperson for TikTok said in an email to The Verge. “Any music used is from a pre-saved catalogue created within the business. In essence, it pairs the lyrics with the pre-saved music, based on three genres: pop, hip-hop, and EDM.”

The feature was first spotted last week.

AI Song doesn’t seem to be available to everyone yet, but some TikTok users have already begun experimenting with it. The results so far are not great. Many are out of tune despite the availability of auto-tuning vocals. Take this one from TikTok user Jonah Manzano, who created a song that somehow tried to make the word comedy have more syllables than it needs. Another user, Kristi Leilani, sort of recreated a Britney Spears song but, again, with severely out-of-tune vocals.

@kristileilani What is TikTok AI Song? The new experimental feature, powered by the Bloom LLM, lets creators generate unique songs and lyrics for videos and photos. 🎧 #tiktoknews #newfeature #generativeai #aimusic #aimusicvideo #tiktokai #tiktokaisong #bloom #llm #macinelearning #whatisit #testing ♬ I’m an a i – Kristi Leilani

AI-generated songs, however, are not new to TikTok. The now infamous AI Drake and The Weeknd song “Heart on My Sleeve” gained virality on the platform. Bad Bunny also criticised people for listening to an AI sound-alike posted on TikTok.

TikTok is not the only platform to lean into generative AI features for its users. YouTube began testing a music creation functionality that lets users make songs from either text prompts or a hummed tune. Dream Track allows for 30-second snippets in the style of other popular artists.

To be more transparent, TikTok rolled out other features that help identify AI-created content on the app and updated its rules requiring users to be upfront about using AI in their content.

UPDATE JANUARY 19, 2024, 11:03 AM ET: Added statement from Barney Hooper, TikTok spokesperson, confirming AI Song is still in the testing phase with the name likely to change and the music used in the feature comes from a pre-saved catalog within the business.