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This article was published on February 17, 2017

Google’s AI can jam with you on a virtual piano

Google’s AI can jam with you on a virtual piano
Abhimanyu Ghoshal
Story by

Abhimanyu Ghoshal

Managing Editor

Abhimanyu is TNW's Managing Editor, and is all about personal devices, Asia's tech ecosystem, as well as the intersection of technology and Abhimanyu is TNW's Managing Editor, and is all about personal devices, Asia's tech ecosystem, as well as the intersection of technology and culture. Hit him up on Twitter, or write in: [email protected].

Playing music is always more fun when you have someone to accompany you. Google’s latest AI experiment aims to fill that gap with a virtual piano that can jam with you, thanks to machine learning, loads of examples from classical music and some pretty decent keyboard chops.

All you have to do is fire up AI Duet in your browser and start playing, using either your mouse, your desktop keyboard or a MIDI keyboard. The app will attempt to follow your melody and play along, sometimes producing pleasant results.

The system, which was developed by programmer Yotam Mann and collaborators at Google, uses the company’s TensorFlow software library, as well as Magenta. It’s been trained with several examples of classical music so it can relate the notes you play to segments it’s heard before, and extrapolate responses through its neural networks.

Although it doesn’t always sound like a masterpiece, it’s certainly interesting to see how the AI responds to your input as you play. I got some good results while attempting to play basic chord progressions with a simple bass line, rather than a melody.

You can try AI Duet for yourself by visiting this page, and check out the open-source project in this GitHub repository. If you like what you hear, take a look at some of Google’s other AI experiments on this page, including an infinite drum machine and a tool to make music with your camera.

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