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Google's latest experiment lets you jam on a keyboard with an AI partner

Google has launched a new experiment called A.I. Duet, which lets you get a response from a bot when you play notes on a virtual keyboard.

Published onFebruary 16, 2017

If you are a musician, or just someone who wants to make some music in your spare time, it’s natural to want to play and jam out with a friend. However, you might not have anyone around when that time comes. The Google Creative Lab team says it’s ready to help with its latest experiment called A.I. Duet.

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The basis for this experiment is Magenta, an open-source project by Google that was first announced in May 2016. It’s designed to use the company’s TensorFlow machine learning software library to help people create art and music. In this case, A.I. Duet is designed around a virtual keyboard. When you start playing a few notes, the computer is supposed to respond to it with the appropriate melody.

You can go ahead and check out A.I. Duet right now on Google’s website. You can simply tap on the virtual keys to get started, and you can use a touchscreen to hit those keys if you have a smartphone or tablet. If you are on a PC, you can use your computer keyboard buttons. Finally, you can hook up a MIDI-based keyboard to your PC to get the full effect.

Google has also posted the code created for A.I. Duet as an open-source project on GitHub, in case you want to make it better. The company says that it hope this will allow others to “extend the functionality of A.I. Duet to address even more research questions surrounding creativity and computation”. While this is certainly a small scale effort, it also shows that Google wants to help expand the reach of artificial intelligence beyond just answering questions, like we see with Google Assistant and other voice-based digital AI services.

If you do play music, what is your opinion on A.I. Duet? Let us know your impressions in the comments!


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