Could a Robot Win a GRAMMY?

Could_a_Robot_Win_a_GRAMMY_pitstop_1.jpgJust when we've finally got our songwriting chops sharpened, it looks like there's a new kid in town. The phrase "fake it till you make it" has taken on a whole new meeting with this artifactual artist hitting the scene. Will AI's be winning GRAMMYs over real artists?

Have you heard of that robot who was programmed to be a built in songwriter? How was it done? GizMode explores with “To turn Shimon into an autonomous music-making machine, the researchers turned to artificial intelligence. Using deep learning, the bot studied a database of nearly 5,000 pre-existing songs, including compositions by Beethoven, the Beatles, Miles Davis, and Lady Gaga. The robot was also given access to more than two million musical motifs, riffs, and licks of music. To kickstart a composition, Bretan would offer Shimon a starting “seed” of music that included the first four measures. From there on, it was all Shimon.

So, does it sound like us musicians need to be stressing that our jobs are going to be taken by a big clunk of metal? Well, let’s take into account the fact that in order for this robot to be able to create music, he had to first study a database of 5,000 songs, all written by no less than legends. This is much like the same way that human musicians become masters at their craft. We spend minutes, hours, days, years learning the ins and outs of the icons we aspire to be. Even if we aren’t doing this intentionally, if you’ve got your playlists on repeat, you’re still learning while listening. 

CNN explores more into the mechanisms of interaction and behavior when it comes to where humans, robots and art begin to mix. "We interact with this [robot:" - Georgia Tech Center for Music Technology. Nikolaidis programs Shimon, whose name means "one who hears" or "one who is heard" in Hebrew. Having the presence, having a head that bobs. ... It looks at you when you're soloing and looks at itself or looks at the other players. It's really a different level of social interaction," 

“John Coltrane. Thelonious Monk. Shimon can improvise like the best of them. The robot morphs the styles of these jazz masters to produce novel, surprising arrangements that both inspire and challenge Shimon's human bandmates. We're interested in improvising like a human but playing like a machine," said Nikolaidis, who also performs with the robot on his piano keyboard in a constant feedback loop of teach and learn. Being able to shift between different influences and create a rich vocabulary that's nothing like any human would ever play ... hopefully this then inspires us to play differently as well, play something that we wouldn't play with other humans," states CNN.

Much like the rest of technology, we do believe that we must incorporate it into our lives where it fits appropriately. Rather than be afraid, we should be excited about the fact that we’re living in such an exciting time where we have endless possibilities beneath each and every fingertip.