Innovation Inspiration: A.I.-composed music designed to help you get in the zone
An innovative A.I. music composer may be the key to finding your flow state. A team of musicians, engineers, scientists and entrepreneurs have developed Brain.fm, an app that composes music to influence your cognitive state and enhance your ability to focus, meditate or sleep.
The Brain.fm music A.I. engine was developed by integrating neuroscience and musical theory. Initial studies suggest that Brain.fm “Focus” music helps users sustain better performance than listening to white noise, Spotify “Focus” music or silence. EEG study results also suggest that compared to Spotify “Focus” music, Brain.fm “Focus” music boosts users’ attention.
Its developers indicate that the secret to Brain.fm’s success is in the way it optimises modulation, creates 3D spatialisation and provides endless playlists. Specifically, they indicate that Brain.fm music modulations are “optimized to evoke entrainment of neural oscillations”, helping users to find a working rhythm. They also suggest that the 3D spatialisation of the music helps to filter distracting sounds and direct attention by controlling the perceived direction of the music (i.e., whether is sounds like it’s coming from in front of you, behind you or all around you). Finally, the endless playlists aim to help the user avoid habituation by ensuring that the music changes enough to keep you focused, not bored.
So how does A.I. actually compose music?? Brain.fm explains that it’s actually humans who “compose the musical content (the art: melodies, harmonies, chord progressions, sound design, instrument choices), then [the] A.I. … arranges these motifs over long timescales, and adds the acoustic features which constitute our core technology (the science: modulation to alter brain activity, 3D spatialization, salience reduction, etc.).” Before the music gets to our ears, Brain.fm employees assess the A.I.-generated compositions and adjust or discard them, if necessary. Finally, the compositions are “tested via large-scale experiments to ensure they have the properties required to help listeners attain and sustain desired mental states over long periods of time”.