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Meet Bot Dylan, the AI computer that can write its own folk songs

on May 26, 2017, 2:26pm

Folk singers beware, you’ll soon have some very stiff competition. Recently, scientists in the UK have created a computer that uses artificial intelligence to write its own folk music.

Named after Bob Dylan, a legend of the genre, the new invention is called “Bot Dylan”. It was “trained” to learn the different patterns and structures that comprise a typical song by scanning through 23,000 pieces of Irish folk music. That means that when scientists provide “Bot Dylan” a pattern — in this case a certain music notation known as ABC — it can then predict and generate the next one. Since its creation, the computer has already “penned” upwards of 100,000 original tunes.

“We didn’t expect any of the machine-generated melodies to be very good,” Dr. Oded Ben-Tal, a music technology expert at Kingston University in London, told The Daily Mail. “But we, and several other musicians we worked with, were really surprised at the quality of the music the system created.”

He added, “People are reluctant to believe machines can be creative – it’s seen as a very human trait. However, the fact of the matter is, technology and creativity have been interconnected for a long time and this is just another step in that direction.”

Hear what the future sounds like by listening to some of “Bot Dylan”‘s original music below

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