We have all heard of Mozart, Chopin, and Beethoven, but not all of us know Google’s artificial intelligence. Yes, a robot has joined the club. And yes, it plays music. (If the song We are the robots by Kraftwerk is playing in your head right now, it is completely normal, don’t worry). This new robot/artist that creates a lot of debate is called Magenta. You might have seen in my previous article about Facebook’s artificial intelligence how machine learning works on images and videos. This article will describe a concept that is similar yet different. The main question here is: Can you use machine learning to create a music piece? That’s exactly what I will touch on in this article.
Google’s Magenta and its music band
Magenta is Google’s Brain Team project that answers the question mentioned above: Can we use artificial intelligence and machine learning to play music?
Google developed this project with two goals. The first is to explore machine learning even deeper and take this concept further. Indeed, this type of artificial intelligence has been used to recognize pictures, speech, and translate content. Facebook too has a similar algorithm that has been used to help blind people hear their newsfeed. This feature is called Facebook Read. For Artificial Intelligence researchers, the sky is the limit. They always look for new features to develop, and new ways of developing machines. So why not create algorithms and teach machines how to play the piano for example. Robots are good students. Indeed, blind tests have shown that people have been fooled by machines: Peter Russel, who is a musicologist, listened to a music piece played by Iamus, a classical music robot. Surpringly enough, he did not know it was created by a machine.