NetEase, a notable rival to Chinese tech company Tencent, have just made a $1.68 million investment in a new music AI company.

NetEase are a China-based company who are most notable for running NetEase Cloud Music. They are also considered a rival tech company to another, huge Chinese tech company notorious for their own music services and many investments: Tencent.

For once we’re writing about an investment that isn’t coming from Tencent. NetEase have just spent €1.5 million ($1.68m) on an investment in an AI firm based in Luxembourg called AIVA.

AIVA was founded in 2016 to advance artificial intelligence technology that can create “emotional soundtracks” for commercial use. The company essentially wants to be a solution for films, games, TV, adverts, etc. who are looking for a specific sound to backdrop their media.

Using the compositions of some of history’s most notorious composers including Mozart, Beethoven, and Bach they are trying to “create a mathematical model representation of what music is”.

Of course, the big concern with any AI music technology is the potentially dangerous precedent of replacing human composers, players, and creators. The company defends their technology, saying: “This achievement will replace musicians; we will continue to encourage collaborations between man and machine.”

The company was founded by computer scientist, director, and composer Pierre Barreau, engineer and musician Vincent Barreau, and researcher and composer Denis Shtefan. Pierre said of their deal with NetEase: “We started discussions with NetEase in December 2019. Their teams contacted us to discuss a collaboration for one of their new products in China and coincidentally, the discussion led to them investing in our company.”