Passing the Audio Composition Turing Test?


I’ve been quite interested in computer music since taking a class at NC State. I wrote a program that took the digits of Pi and mapped them to notes and the digits of e and mapped them to durations. With a little filtering, it produced a little ditty that I called PiE and earned me an A.

Fast forward a few years and I read “The Age of Spiritual Machines” by Ray Kurzweil. In the book, Ray extrapolates about a future wherein music is created by AI’s and becomes far more nuanced and advanced than anything produced by unaugmented humans.

Today I read an article about David Cope and his software “Emily Howell”, which is capable of generating compositions that compare favorably to Bach and Mozart, so much so that a trained audience cannot really tell the difference between them. Is the future in Kurzweil’s book coming to pass? Can a machine make music that touches human emotions? What interesting times we live in…

Triumph of the Cyborg Composer

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~ by shaunkime on February 26, 2010.

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