Human ears have no trouble sussing out the sentiment of songs — say, the melancholia in Eric Clapton’s “Tears in Heaven,” or the passion in Led Zeppelin’s “Whole Lotta Love.” Machines do, however.

In an attempt to get the latter to perform a bit more like the former, researchers at Deezer developed an artificially intelligent system that can associate certain tracks with moods.

They describe their work in a new paper (“Music Mood Detection Based on Audio Lyrics With Deep Neural Nets“) published on the preprint server Arxiv.org.

“[A]utomatic music mood detection has been an active field of research … for the past twenty years,” they wrote.

“It consists of automatically determining the emotion felt when listening to a track.

In this work, we focus on the task of multimodal mood detection based on the audio signal and the lyrics of the track.”

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