Wednesday, March 27, 2024

Review of Actuarial Science an A.I Actuarial Album (Produced by MJ the Fellow Actuary)

The generative AI craze continues - now entering into the actuarial world. The latest rendition is an actuarial AI album produced by MJ the Fellow Actuary.  The promise of computer-generated actuarial music is an exciting one, and may bring to life other actuarial music concepts.

The initial single is the catchy "Exams on Exams" which is an anthem of triumph for the many who have made their way through the gauntlet of testing.

Some may be surprised, but 12 years ago, we called out the possibility of a smartphone passing actuarial exams.  A music album is the next step. Obviously.

Overall the album covers the ebb and flow of romance amidst the struggles of an actuarial career.  It is at times confident and bold, and other times more...reserved. The wordplay is filled with little nuggets of industry jargon smashed into a slightly different context to decorate the verses and choruses. Sometimes they work magically, and other times they are a bit strained. 

Between the Spreadsheets Rating: 4 out 5 stars.

Let's go through a track-by-track review, written by a 99.99%* human being (as far as I know). 

*0.01% is nonhuman materials.

"First Year" - Electronic beats give us a nostalgic head bopper with a pleasant mix of spoken words and sung chorus, although there might be a bit too much autotune. Maybe it's intentional to remind us that we are listening to a robot after all.

"Exams on Exams" - total earworm.

"Moment Generating Functions" is perfect for that first date "I want to generate a moment with you".  It's a cute song, but the song structure is a little derivative.

"Run off Triangles" takes the sweet moment from the title track and adds a bit more uncertainty, with a moodier, darker tone. The plea to try has a desperate yearning as the song wishes for love to persevere.

"Survival Models" is a departure from the tracks thus far, pulling from some southern country rock roots. The guitars and drums and spunky attitude bring a note of defiance and rebellion to any precalculated notions.

"Graduation" is a poppy little jam that has flavors of 21 Pilots, AJR, and Imagine Dragons. There is also a Bonus version that features a female vocal to reimagine the tune.

"Intership Diaries" serves as a cute little palate cleanser. 

"Holding Reserves" brings back the lo-fi beats and the sweet romantic rhymes that combine investment, insurance, and finance jargon with flirtatious compliments and musings on love.

"Analyst Rising" is one of the longest tracks on the album. It starts simple and then builds to a more epic swell. It is a good blend of the various flavors the album has presented thus far.

"Mean"  - This one will put a smile on your face despite the struggle the lyrics present. "I'm not your  average guy/why do you have to be mean" and "I will fail to reject you even when the p-values are seen" deliver on the tormented romance of a math nerd.

"Loss Rates" - this one is reminiscent of a Post Malone whiney ballad.

"Office Politics" - brings in some more aggression with a different vocalist feature. A short rock moment in the middle hits like a slap to the face.

"Options"  - "Give me your number, maybe I'll call. I reserve the right but not the obligation to make you fall" is one of the more clever lyrical gems on the album.

"Time Value of Money" hits hard, bringing the glam of hip-hop culture into the album. It's a fun little banger but doesn't really deliver on the technical side of the title like the other counterparts.

"Actuarial Empire" is the victory song that seems to be the culmination of Exams on Exams, Graduation, and Analyst Rising.

"Retirement" starts to wind down the album in soft reflective manner.

"Force of Mortality" the album closer features a contemplative piano melody. It's soft and vulnerable. And while it covers the ultimate end, it also hints at the mystery beyond, suggesting that maybe something will come after.  

We can only hope the MJ the Fellow Actuary and his team of digital voices continue to expand the universe of actuarially themed music.

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