Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The Human Variable...or...Oh, the Horror!

"Computers are useless. They only give answers."
-- Pablo Picasso

Can a computer make art?

This is one of those existential questions philosophers have been tossing around since the computer's invention. It's up there with "can robots feel emotion" and/or "Do androids dream of electric sheep?"

(Thanks for that, Philip K. Dick).

Microsoft seems to think that an algorithm can make music. They have created a new program called Songsmith, where anybody, and I do mean anybody, can sing along to a drum track and this program will create a chord sequence, aka a song, to accompany you.

Not only is it like having your very own Karaoke back-up band, but its perfect for those fun projects like making elevator music and/or your very own backing music track to your home-made porn!

Seriously, it could be really fun, if you're ten.

Of course, GarageBand on the Mac does almost the same thing, except you have to actually make the choices yourself. It takes a little longer but the results are much better, and so is the music.

Here's what one genius decided to do on this program, matching David Lee Roth's vocals from Running With The Devil and plugging it into Songsmith.

Warning! This audio clip may damage your sense of hearing.

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