Billie Eilish swept off the 62nd Grammys this year, winning the four biggest prizes – Best new artist, Record of the year, Album of the year and Song of the year. She also made history by beating Taylor Swift to be the youngest ever solo performer to win Album of the year. Taylor Swift was 20, when she won it for ‘Fearless’, Billie is 18 as she won it for ‘When we all fall asleep where do we go’. She also became the first woman, and only second person (the first was Christopher Cross in 1981) to win Record of the year, Album of the year, Song of the year and Best new artist in the same year.
But that’s not the only history that was getting made. This year, the Grammys had a much bigger involvement of emerging digital technologies and Industry 4.0 than ever before. A renowned Boston-based data science company – DataRobot used its enterprise artificial intelligence platform to predict the winners for Song and Record of the year. The platform leveraged machine learning models to learn from the past, in order to predict the future. In this specific case, past data was lists of previous nominees and winners, while the future would have been the 62nd Grammy Awards. Using this historical data about the Grammy nominees and winners going all the way back to 1959, DataRobot built hundreds of potential machine-learning models. From these, the model with the best performance on five of the most recent award ceremonies was used. DataRobot tests and validates each model by ranking them on a leaderboard using predictive performance. The final model that was used in this case to make the predictions had about 77% better accuracy compared to the other models in predicting the winners in either of the two categories (Song and Record of the year) for the past five years.
It is important to note, that this platform is still evolving in terms of its accuracy and capabilities while the data itself is also evolving in terms of variety and availability.
This was all about the predictions that were made by Industry 4.0 technologies. Not only this, these technologies also played an active role during the awards ceremony. For instance, IBM’s star artificial intelligence – Watson played a major role in the Grammys this year. IBM was the official AI partner for the Grammys this year.
IBM took over 18 million documents, blogs, bios and data points for this year’s Grammy nominees and boiled it all down to the most interesting nuggets of information for each nominee, creating something like the 90s pop-up videos for each of them.
‘Grammy Insights with Watson’ specifically used Watson Discovery, Natural Language Processing (NLP) and Speech-to-Text technology to analyze the red-carpet videos and audios in real-time to identify who is on the red carpet in that moment and the nature of the interview between the artist and the host. It used millions of data sources for this purpose, and was hence able to put up special display cards about the artist in real-time, displaying relevant information about the artist, the topic of the ongoing conversation, etc. so all the fans who were watching the event live on grammy.com could have a value-added experience with relevant interesting information. This was possible majorly because of Natural Language Processing. This is the technology that enables artificial intelligence to understand human language. NLP is responsible for helping artificial intelligence understand, decipher, summarize and contextualize human language as well as come up with valuable useful insights.
For example, one of the insights that got shown when the Jonas brothers came up on the red carpet was, “The Jonas Brothers earned an estimated $12 million in 2007 and have donated 10% of their earnings to their charity, Change for the Children Foundation’.
There were over 1500 artists that walked the red carpet at the Grammys, and Watson successfully enhanced the viewer experience for every one of them.
Thanks to a partnership between IBM and the Recording Academy, the artificial intelligence enhanced data began four hours before the show was telecast, and the last hour of Grammy Insights was also telecast live.
Up until now, Watson was capable of performing weather forecasts, live political analysis, clinical trials, financial planning, cancer diagnosis, enhance travel experiences, etc. and now providing an enhanced immersive experience to music fans around the world is a new feather in its cap.
This is the first-time artificial intelligence became a part of the Grammy’s production. AI, machine learning and numerous other technologies have formed a significant part of countless records and albums that earned Grammy nominations, but this is the first time ever that these technologies made it to the awards ceremony itself. The Grammys also had a lot of other technology partners, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google Pixel, China Vision, Jaxsta, Muzooka, Triller, etc.
Technology has so many interesting applications in our world, so many of which we are yet to discover and explore.