Jazz AI Compliments Of DARPA

Not content with building robotic pack animals and neural implants, our friends at DARPA are now working on an artificially intelligent computer that can create jazz music.

Kelland Thomas, a jazz musician and computer scientist, will be working with DARPA on the project.

"A jazz musician improvises, given certain structures and certain constraints and certain basic guidelines that musicians are all working with," Thomas told Tech Insider. "Our system is going to be an improvisational system. So yeah, it will be able to jam."

Thomas and his team will first build a database of thousands of transcribed musical performances by the best jazz improvisers, including Louis Armstrong, Miles Davis, and Charlie Parker. Then, using machine learning techniques, they'll "train" the AI system with this database...

"A human musician also builds a knowledge base by practicing and by listening and by learning and studying," Thomas said. "So the thing we're proposing to do is analogous to the way a human learns, but eventually it will be able to do this on a much larger scale. It can scour thousands of transcriptions instead of dozens or hundreds."

I'm pretty sure I've heard this dream before. In his 1953 short story Virtuoso, Herbert Goldstone writes about a robot that wants to learn classical music:

"Mozart? Chopin?" The duralloy sphere that was Rollo's head shone stark and featureless, its immediate surface unbroken but for twin vision lenses. "The terms are not included in my memory banks."

"No, not for yours, Rollo," the Maestro said softly. "Mozart and Chopin are not for vacuum tubes and fuses and copper wire. They are for flesh and blood and human tears..."

"I should like to be taught how to produce these notes on the piano. I request that you feed the correlation between those dots and the levers of the panel into my memory banks."
(Read more about the robot pianist)

More advanced music systems, some of them from the recent past. Take a look at these:

Via TechInsider.

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