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Paul McCartney says he's used AI to make ‘the last Beatles record’

The music legend said a new Beatles song will be released later this year featuring vocals from John Lennon taken from an old demo track.

Paul McCartney says a new Beatles song with John Lennon's vocals will be released this year, thanks to a little help from the fifth Beatle — an artificial intelligence program.

The legendary singer told BBC Radio 4's Today show on June 13 that an AI program has been able to "extricate" John Lennon's voice from an old demo track in order to finish the song, according to the BBC.

“We just finished it up and it’ll be released this year,” McCartney said.

The Beatles
More than 50 years after The Beatles broke up, Paul McCartney said they will release a "new" song thanks to the help of artificial intelligence.Keystone / Getty Images

McCartney did not name the song, but it's believed to be a 1978 track created by Lennon called "Now and Then," according to the BBC.

An AI program that can separate Lennon's vocals from the backing instrumentation is being used to help clean up the sound on the new track, McCartney said.

McCartney decided to pursue the song after working with “Lord of the Rings” director Peter Jackson on the 2021 Beatles documentary “Get Back.”

McCartney said Jackson was able to “extricate John’s voice from a ropey little bit of cassette.”

“We had John’s voice and a piano and he could separate them with AI," McCartney said on BBC Radio 4. "They tell the machine, ‘That’s the voice. This is a guitar. Lose the guitar.'

"So when we came to to make what will be the last Beatles’ record, it was a demo that John had, (and) we were able to take John’s voice and get it pure through this AI. So then we could mix the record, as you would normally do."

The new song would be the first "new" Beatles releases since the songs "Free As A Bird" and "Real Love" came out with the "Anthology" albums in 1995 and 1996, according to the BBC.

While the explosion of AI raises questions about the future in a host of industries including the music business, McCartney is keeping an open mind about its usefulness.

“I’m not on the internet that much, (but) people will say to me, ‘Oh, yeah, there’s a track where John’s singing one of my songs’, and it’s just AI, you know?" he said. "It’s kind of scary but exciting, because it’s the future. We’ll just have to see where that leads.”