Christmas Robot

This season’s most terrifying Christmas song was written by a Canadian robot

The robot uprising has never felt so festive.

- Dec 13, 2016

Well, we've heard a robot make a Beatles song and the Jeopardy AI co-write for X Ambassadors and Wiz Khalifa. Why not seasonal music?

A team at the University of Toronto computer science lab have developed a neural network capable of writing melodies and lyrics on the prompting of an image. Their "neural karaoke" program was trained on 100 hours of holiday music (poor thing) and 50 hours of lyrics, then fed a collection of captioned images to make connections between visual data and associated concepts.

After its crash course in holiday songwriting, a researcher input the Hallmark-ish image of a tree nestled with presents and, much like bad egg nog, this hot, curdled trash is what came back up:

Christmas music is already 75% nonsense, so it's a bit like that robot that passed the Turing Test by pretending to be a 13-year-old. But whoa, this thing is a literal nightmare. It is the sound of the very last Christmas ever. Family networks of bots will one day gather round a roaring cooling fan, sing this carol, and toast to human extinction.

It's the abrupt last line that's most deeply disturbing: I've seen that many flowers in a funeral home or on a grave, but not a Christmas tree.


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