Some electronic music sounds like it was created by robots, but that’s really only half true. It’s the technology that’s producing the sound, yeah, but it’s only doing so thanks to the flesh-and-bone human doing all the thinking. Right in the face of those of use who fear a technologically-based apocalypse, though, the robots are catching up. Researchers at Georgia Tech have created a four-armed, marimba-playing robot that is now capable of composing its own songs (via Gizmodo).
Shimon, as the robot is known, was developed by Gil Weinberg, director of Georgia Tech’s Center for Music Technology, and was initially able to improvise music along with human performers. Ph.D. student Mason Bretan has turned Shimon into a full-fledged composer, though: After studying a near-5,000-song database of songs by Beethoven, the Beatles, Miles Davis, and Lady Gaga, as well as other pieces of music, it can now come up with the harmonic and melodic structure of a song all by itself.
“Once Shimon learns the four measures we provide, it creates its own sequence of concepts and composes its own piece,” Bretan said in a press release. “Shimon’s compositions represent how music sounds and looks when a robot uses deep neural networks to learn everything it knows about music from millions of human-made segments.”
Shimon is already starting to put together a fire mixtape; Check it out its first two 30-second compositions below, both of which are actually interesting and pretty:
Is this the coolest example of machine-made music you’ve ever seen, or is there something neater out there we haven’t heard about yet? Let us know what you think in the comments below!
Featured image: Georgia Tech/YouTube