An accidental listening experiment

The Daily Mail picked up our story on our music transcription generation system folk-rnn. Unfortunately, they rename our system “Bot Dylan”, claim it’s writing folk songs, and make some tenuous claims. Anyhow, the Daily Mail only sent us an email asking if they could link to one of the videos on The Bottomless Tune Box. They don’t link to our channel, but instead their own edit of Set #1: the first 30 seconds. This means the only thing people are hearing is four human musicians playing the a bit of the real traditional Irish tune, “The Cuil Aodha“. (The computer-generated tune is the last one appearing in Set #1.)

The comments on the article provide some insight into those people who are bothered enough to comment on The Daily Mail. Several people appear to be predisposed to criticising the “real” tune thinking that it is the computer-generated one:

Duane_1981, Preston, United Kingdom, 16 hours ago
It’s sounds very neat. It’s missing the “human” element.

Ivor Koph, London, 1 day ago
Total Crap! A foot tapping tune in 6/8 does not make it Irish. Also it feels pretty bland.

Mikeyt1941, London, Canada, 1 day ago
Totally lifeless without warmth. Mind you much human tuneless junk that passes for music today isn’t much better.

PaxRomana, Novi, 2 days ago
That’s it?!!! I’m not impressed.

hyperslothmedia, Austin, United States, 2 days ago
Not too impressive at all, really. Determine a tempo and a key and you can pretty easily generate good sounding stuff infinitely with very simple algorithms. Doesn’t take AI to do this. Even the “learning” part isn’t that hard.

paevo, USA, United States, 2 days ago
Sounds like a robotic Irish jig….

andrewskyman, San Jose, 2 days ago
So computers can be ‘told’ to generate some melodic phrases based upon preset ‘intervals’ that are generally recognized in particular styles or genres and that’s supposed to be “music”? Well, it’s music but it’s not very good. It really represents nothing more than a presentation of a ‘stereotype’ that ‘seems’ like that ‘style’ or ‘flavor’ of music. It’s not really interesting and it’s not unique in a genuine, good way. So ….. I’ll keep plunking away on my piano and creating my own. Thank you. :)

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