Google has Taught an AI to Play Piano Duets

Never play “Heart and Soul” alone again.

- Apr 17, 2017

Sorry, Dad. You know how you’ve been saying maybe this is the year you’ll dust off that keyboard you got five Christmases ago and actually learn to play the thing? Well, now a computer’s beat you to it.

One of Google's latest experiments in artificial intelligence is a virtual piano player that responds to the notes you play with a complimentary musical phrase, and can even accompany you in a duet.

Developer and musician Yotam Mann from Google Creative Lab’s Magenta project explains that with traditional coding, teaching a computer to play piano means inputting a huge number of musical rules. Using neural networks, however, the machine learns to make it’s own decisions by ingesting and analyzing a large set of examples. That’s how A.I. Duet was trained.

You can try it yourself here.

The machine’s no Bach, but neither am I. (Not by a long shot). It’s fun enough just to watch the poor AI schooled on thousands of works by the Greats and rack its brains trying to make sense of my nonsense.

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