Teresa Carey: This is Scientific American's 60-Second Science. Every morning at five o'clock, composer Walter Werzowa would sit down at his computer to anticipate a particular daily e-mail. It came from six time zones away, where a team had been working all night (or day, rather) to draft Beethoven's unfinished 10th Symphony--almost two centuries after his death. The e-mail contained hundreds of variations, and Werzowa listened to them all. Carey: Werzowa was listening for the perfect tune--a sound that was unmistakably Beethoven.
The seas were blessedly calm as we sailed across the channel and straight up the Seine, into the heart of Francia. The skald led us in song, our voices booming across the placid waters, thundering in our veins. We leaped from our longboat onto the shores of Francia, shouting glory to the All-Father as we charged up the beaches. The sounds of glorious battle filled the air. Squelch, squelch, squish, grunt, clang, yell, grunt, clang, squish, squish, squidge.
While music genre plays an enormous role in building and displaying social identity, the emotional expression of a song and -- even more importantly -- its emotional impression on the listener is often underestimated in the domain of music preferences. Only a few decades back, choosing music by genre and/or artist was effectively the only option. Want to hear live music? Well, choose an artist or a -- typically genre-based -- festival. Alright, check out our CD shelves categorized by genre and pick an album by an artist you like.
AI stem separation tool for precise stem extraction. Kanye West has recently dropped the Donda Stem Player, a portable speaker to remix, customize tracks and isolate stems from audio. Initially, the speaker was designed as a creative way to interact with Kanye's new album, but it turns out that it's a creators tool on its own. The idea is to mix and match different songs and parts from the new Kanye's album and listen to new tracks each time you press play. You can also upload your own tracks to the Stem Player.
The uncanny valley is the abrupt dip in human affinity to a non-human creature when we see it approaching human-like characteristics. For instance, the spooky feeling when one looks at Sofia the robot or Lil Miquela the Instagram influencer. Really though, Lil Miquela gives me the creeps when I go through her timeline. It is the eeriness of a realistic face with personalized captions with her sense of awareness that she is not a real person that is quite unsettling. There is something surreal about it that makes working with it exciting.
When he died in 1827 aged 56, Ludwig van Beethoven left his 10th symphony unfinished. Only a few handwritten notes briefly detailing his plans for the piece have survived, with most just being incomplete ideas or fragments of themes or melodies. Now, a multidisciplinary team of computer scientists at Rutgers University-based start-up Playform AI have trained an artificial intelligence to mimic the great composer's style and used it to write a complete symphony based on these initial sketches. We spoke to the lead researcher on the project, Professor Ahmed Elgammal, to find out more. Beethoven left sketches in different forms, mainly musical sketches, but also some written notes with some ideas in as well.
Bowers & Wilkins has launched a new version of its iconic Zeppelin speaker, and the company says it was re-imagined for the streaming age. The audio device manufacturer describes the new Zeppelin as "smarter and more flexible" than its predecessors, with built-in support for Amazon's Alexa voice assistant, so users can simply ask it to play whatever they want instead of using its physical buttons. In addition, B&W plans to give it multi-room capability in early 2022 through a software update. Once that arrives, users will be able to link several Zeppelins together or link a Zeppelin with other B&W speakers in a multi-room environment. For now, the new model supports AirPlay 2 and aptX Adaptive Bluetooth to give both iOS and Android users an easy way to stream audio from their devices.
While the world impatiently awaited Kanye West's new album, "DONDA", to drop, Wesam Jawich, a software engineer at Google, had an idea. What if we could just ask the outspoken artist when the album was dropping? So the idea was born to create an AI that would simulate a text conversation with Ye. The first step was to create a dataset of Kanye West dialogue to train GPT-J on. The dataset used was a compilation of Kanye interview transcripts, tweets, lyrics, and manufactured conversations.
When Ludwig van Beethoven died in 1827, he was three years removed from the completion of his Ninth Symphony, a work heralded by many as his magnum opus. He had started work on his 10th Symphony but, due to deteriorating health, wasn't able to make much headway: All he left behind were some musical sketches. Ever since then, Beethoven fans and musicologists have puzzled and lamented over what could have been. His notes teased at some magnificent reward, albeit one that seemed forever out of reach. Now, thanks to the work of a team of music historians, musicologists, composers and computer scientists, Beethoven's vision will come to life. I presided over the artificial intelligence side of the project, leading a group of scientists at the creative AI startup Playform AI that taught a machine both Beethoven's entire body of work and his creative process.
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