AI can now write Christmas carols

Date:2 December 2016 Tags:, , , ,

Scientists are teaching AI to beat humans at go and chess, so they may as well help computers defeat us at our greatest cultural achievement: writing Christmas carols.

By David Grossman

Researchers at the University of Toronto trained their neural network on 100 hours of online music. This way it was able to produce a simple 120-beats-per-minute melody based on the musical scale.

Then the song needed lyrics. Using a process described as “neural karaoke,” the researchers fed the program a variety of digital images. The program then created lyrics around these images. These song lyrics don’t always tend to make the most sense, as you can see and hear. But song lyrics are a step away from chat bots, and showing that AIs will eventually be able to do more than just talk is a large part of the point.

“We are used to thinking about AI for robotics and things like that. The question now is what can AI do for us?” said Raquel Urtasun, an associate professor in machine learning and computer vision at Toronto’s computer science lab, to the Guardian.

Thinking about the possibilities, her colleague, Sanja Fidler, said that one “can imagine having an AI channel on Pandora or Spotify that generates music, or takes people’s pictures and sings about them…It’s about what can deep learning do these days to make life more fun?”

 

 

This article was originally written for and published by Popular Mechanics USA.