The New AI Keyboard of Amazon Sounds “Terrible”

Amazon has come up with a “musical keyboard” with a built-in artificial intelligence (AI) composer.

The AWS DeepComposer is a two-octave, 32-key keyboard that can connect to the computers via a USB cable. It includes tutorials, sample code, and training data that can be used to start building generative models, without having to write a single line of code.

Users can play a short tune or use a pre-recorded one and ask the keyboard to beautify it in one of the four styles rock, pop, jazz, or classical — and then publish it on Soundcloud. However, according to one expert, the demo audio provided by Amazon was “Terrible”.

A ‘Quick Gizmo’

An expert on musical AI from Durham University, Professor Nick Collins said that it was difficult to evaluate the quality of the DeepComposer based on the single audio example provided by Amazon in a blog. He wasn’t impressed at all with the piece that was on the web page.

“It’s terrible. A musician with a basic sequencing ability could easily mock up better examples.”

He also pointed out a fact that why the tool would be appealing to professional musicians as many of them already possess a range of sophisticated tools for AI experimentation. It would be like a quick gizmo among other general users.

Dr. Oded Ben-Tal at Kingston University, who has worked on AI music projects also agreed. He said he sees people doing this five times a day and then saying, ‘it is fine’ then moving onto something else. About the demo, he said, “I don’t think it sounds good.”


Professor Collins even took issue with the name, adding that while he was intrigued by the rise of AI-enabled music tools and products in recent years, he was disappointed by their sobriquet.

 He said they haven’t even got to the best puns yet. He has been waiting for a system to be called “Deep Purple” or “Deep-echo.”

“Generative” AI

Amazon Web Services, Inc. (AWS) has used ‘Generative’ AI in developing DeepComposer, which is a recent advancement in the field of artificial intelligence. Generative AI, as the name, suggests can create something new from scratch. It uses one neural network to generate content and another to perform a quality check on it.

Generative AI will provide an environment with no boundaries for human and computer creativity. Product development will accelerate, as people can change their raw sketches to complete masterpieces. It will help the users make computer-aided designs from complex objects.

Going back to what we started with, DeepComposer will be available in the US only from early 2020 and cost $99 (£76).

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