Last Beatles Song Will Be Partially AI-Produced
Five decades after the band broke up, the Beatles will be releasing one final album with assistance from artificial intelligence (AI) technology. Paul McCartney, one of two remaining members of the band, said this week that the group would release “the final Beatles record” this year.
McCartney received assistance from Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson, who was able to use AI technology to restore audio from a recording to include John Lennon’s voice.
Lennon likened the use of AI technology to Jackson’s production of the documentary “Get Back” about the band producing its “Let It Be” album. Jackson used the technology to artificially de-age film recorded in 1969 of the band creating the album.
The resulting film quality was significantly improved.
McCartney described the process as “kind of scary but also exciting because it’s the future.”
He added that Jackson was able to “extricate John’s voice from a ropey little cassette that had John’s voice and a piano.”
“He could separate them with AI—he could tell the machine, ‘That’s the voice, that’s the guitar lose the guitar.’ And he did that,” the singer said. “So it has great uses,” McCartney said.
Artificial intelligence has been used to extract John Lennon's voice from an old demo to create "the last Beatles record," decades after the band broke up, Paul McCartney said Tuesday. https://t.co/vYZGcCW6dw
— The Washington Times (@WashTimes) June 13, 2023
The Beatle said that the effort culminated in “what will be the last Beatles record,” which was able to “take John’s voice and get it pure through this AI so then we could mix the record as you would normally do.”
The audio came from a cassette tape given by Lennon’s second wife Yoko Ono to McCartney nearly three decades ago.
“We just finished it up and it’ll be released this year,” he said.
The band has not released any new material in almost 30 years, since “Free as a Bird” and “Real Love” were released in the 1990s.
McCartney said that he had previously heard of the capabilities of AI, including its ability to imitate voices.
The exact song was not announced, but the BBC reported that it is likely the song “Now and Then,” written by Lennon.