Grimes' Baby Has Seen 'Apocalypse Now' And Helped Her Compose An A.I. Lullaby

Lisa Yeung
·2-min read

The pandemic hasn’t brought us many bright spots, but it has brought us Grimes’ baby, who, at the rate he’s developing, will be running the show by the time he’s five. And we’re probably OK with that.

The Vancouver-born musician spoke to the New York Times about her thoughts on artificial intelligence, as well as the ways her five-month-old has been interacting with art. Turns out, the two intersect, which is perhaps unsurprising for a child whose name is X Æ A-Xii and whose parents are an acclaimed electronic musician and SpaceX founder Elon Musk.

“In general, stuff for babies is really just creatively bad,” she said in the interview. She’s not a fan of the “aimless crap” that’s presented for babies in pastel tones and baseline simplicity.

Grimes has been introducing her baby to more complex creations, like Stanley Kubrick’s “Apocalypse Now.” She says little X (she calls him X for short) is into “radical” art. “And I don’t think it’s a problem to engage with them on that level.”

And so, Grimes has tapped into her baby’s nascent artistic bent to help her compose that A.I. lullaby mentioned in the headline. She played versions of the music and gauged the baby’s reaction. “The first version, there was too many sort of sharp bells, and it caused tears and just general chaos,” she said, so she kept working on it.

The baby didn’t steer his mama wrong; you can hear a snippet of the lullaby in the video below, and it’s quite lovely:

Like swimming with outer-space dolphins, right? We could almost fall asleep right now.

Where the artificial intelligence comes in is the fact that the lullaby is a collaboration with a company called Endel, which employs “a technology that creates personalized environments to reduce stress, improve sleep, and boost productivity.”

So, the musical blocks Grimes (and baby) composed will shift and vary according to other inputs from the user: heart rate, environment, and circadian...

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