1 Recommend It! 1,073 views

Jazz-singing robot could shed light on consciousness

Published: 2012-09-30
ROBOTS and humans will soon be living in harmony. A singing robot is being taught to improvise jazz duets with a human in a project that researchers hope will shed light on the nature of consciousness.

Antonio Chella at the University of Palermo, Italy, is working with a Telenoid robot, developed by the Hiroshi Ishiguro Laboratory in Japan. To start with, the Telenoid will be trained to mimic the movements and simple sounds made by a human singer, as well as associate parts of music with different emotional states. Chella then plans to see if the robot can use these associations to improvise - choosing movements and vocalisations that complement its human duet partner.

Intelligence is often defined as the ability to find connections between existing entities - understanding that a key goes in a lock, for instance. But Chella suggests that a conscious organism should be able to go a step further and introduce novel connections - between, say, musical phrases - that result in the creation of something new. That, in essence, is the idea behind improvisation.

Jazz musicians interviewed by Chella talked of having a mental library of musical phrases that they were able to combine in new ways when prompted by other musicians. Importantly, however, this combination happens in a state that is “similar in a sense to dreaming", he says. “Not really conscious, but not unconscious." Chella wants to replicate these states in a machine. “Consciousness could be linked to these moments of combination," he says.


View the original article...

comments powered by Disqus
Read the All About Jazz Magazine - Free!

Read the All About Jazz Magazine - It's free!

Jam-packed with 100 pages covering a wide range of styles, subjects and from around the world—each issue includes interviews, profiles, columns, album reviews, web site news, and free MP3s. The AAJ magazine is available across all devices, can be shared socially, and opened from anywhere without the need to download an app.

Read the Winter 2014 Edition

Weekly Giveaways

Matthew Shipp

Matthew Shipp
About | Enter

Matt Ridley

Matt Ridley
About | Enter

Tord Gustavsen

Tord Gustavsen
About | Enter

Alfredo Rodriguez

Alfredo Rodriguez
About | Enter