Artificial intelligence, robotics, and rocking out
Almost a hundred years ago, Leon Theremin created the eponymous theremin, the first mass-produced electronic musical instrument. Since then, music and technology have had a mostly symbiotic, sometimes conflicting, relationship. As The Buggles famously sang in “Video Killed the Radio Star”:
They took the credit for your second symphony
Rewritten by machine on new technology
But music, which at its heart is based on the harmonious arrangement of a limited number of notes juxtaposed with language, is a perfect medium for artificial intelligence to learn. Musical instruments—which are used to reproduce those notes on physical devices—are ideal for robots to learn both precision and nuance.
Here are three articles on how different aspects of engineering, both computational and physical, are changing the world of music.
- Pitchfork: Do Androids Dream of Electric Guitars? Exploring the Future of Musical A.I. (this goes to the heart of artificial intelligence definition)
- Pat Metheny: About Orchestrion (how the world’s greatest jazz guitar player is also a robotics engineer)
- Make: 5 Robot Bands That Will Rock Your Socks Off (there’s a robot playing Motorhead!!)