Analogy-making vs. prediction: a debate on the philosophy of automated music generation

For a long time, music generation has been modeled as a “sequence prediction” problem. As in estimating the stock price, the task of music generation is to predict a music sequence based on some contexts, say, to predict the melody given the underlying chords, or to predict the upcoming notes based on existing ones. However, we observed an intrinsic defect of such generation via prediction approach – in any given contexts, there are many ways/directions to develop the music, so which one shall the model follow?

The big picture of Music X Lab’s research

Music manifests the most complex and subtle forms of creation of human minds. The composition process of music is almost free from the limitations of the physical world, fully leveraging imagination and creative intelligence. For this reason, Beethoven refers to music as “incorporeal” and refers to creative intelligence, the magnificent faculty accessible to humans, as the “higher world of knowledge.” From an AI perspective, the best way to uncover the mystery of creative intelligence is to realize it via computational efforts — to conceive being from void, to develop many from one, to construct whole from parts, to make analogy among seemingly distant scenarios, and music is a perfect subject of this endeavor.