Folk music is part of a rich cultural context that stretches back into the past, encompassing the real and the mythical, bound to the traditions of the culture in which it arises. Artificial intelligence, on the other hand, has no culture, no traditions. But it has shown great ability: beating grand masters at chess and Go, for example, or demonstrating uncanny wordplay skills when IBM Watson beat human competitors at Jeopardy. Could the power of AI be put to use to create music?
I’m now helping them, on a part-time contract. The idea is it’s part UI design for composing with deep learning, part community engagement (read: website), and part production–reception research.