AI Could Save John Lennon’s Final Filmed Interview

Artificial intelligence (AI) could be used to save John Lennon’s final filmed interview before The Beatles star was murdered.

The last filmed interview of Lennon took place in New York on October 10, 1980 — a day after his 40th birthday and two months before he was shot by “fan” Mark David Chapman.

In the interview, Lennon chats to Los Angeles Times music critic Robert Hilburn at New York’s Hit Factory Studios — where he was recording what would be his final album Double Fantasy.

According to the Mail Online, Lennon’s personal assistant Fred Seaman, allegedly set up a RCA video camera to capture the informal chat with the singer.

It’s unknown whether the Beatles singer knew he was being filmed at the time.

However, Lennon’s voice in the historically important footage is drowned out by the sound of the first Star Wars movie in the background.

Studio engineers were incorporating the Star Wars film’s sound effects into his song Beautiful Boys during the later stages of Lennon’s final album’s production.

Now, filmmaker Peter Jackson is hoping to use a cutting-edge AI tool, known as ‘machine audio learning’ (MAL), to recover Lennon’s voice in his final interview.

The Mail Online reports that MAL works by identifying different sounds on a recording and separating them from each other, even if they were originally recorded on the same track — in a process compared to “unbaking a cake.”

This AI technology means that Beatles fans will finally be able to know what Lennon said in the last filmed interview of his life.

Historians believe Lennon refers to his former Beatles bandmate Paul McCartney as his “dear one” and that he calls him a “brother” in the footage.

However, Lennon’s words are drowned out by the sounds of Stormtrooper blasters in the Star Wars movie so that it’s hard to know for sure.

Filmmaker Jackson previously used MAL to salvage Lennon’s voice from an old 1970s home demo and create “the last Beatles song” Now and Then which was released earlier this month.

Some music critics slammed the use of AI technology in the music video for the band’s final single.

Image credits: Feature photo via Wikimedia Commons.