Monday, February 24, 2014

TerraSwarm Researchers Write Programs that Jam

A trio of TerraSwarm researchers at UC Berkeley have developed computer programs that can improvise jazz melodies. This work was recently highlighted in Metal Machine Music, published in the the Winter 2013 Information Issue of California Magazine:

Our research is part of a broader effort to better understand how machines can adapt to unforeseen changes in their environments, according to Sanjit Seshia, UC Berkeley Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences. “If you look at the dictionary meaning of ‘improvise,’ it means you’re performing something without preparation,” says Seshia, who is working with Music and Technology professor David Wessel and post doctoral researcher Alexandre DonzĂ©. “Music is a very nice way to investigate these ideas.”
Wessel is optimistic about the potential impact of the team’s research. He and Seshia both see their work someday used in other tasks requiring improvisation such as in a highway control system that tackles traffic jams or accidents without human input.

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