A Great Simian or just a Monkey


Watson Beat – a computer that creates music

What is Watson Beat? It is a cognitive technology that makes original music inspired by songs you play for 15-20s. Sounds bananas I know, but this could really be a game changer since Watson Beat creates music completely without bias and trends.

UPDATE: As gdf pointed out in the comments, Watson Beat is now open sourced. So if you want to play around with Watson beat, just go to the Watson Beat github page.

Most Watson services are built to learn and from that reason and suggest solutions to our questions, that is not the case with Watson Beat. Watson Beat is “inspired” by the music we play for him and then he creates a new song based on that inspiration. Since Watson is not taught by being played thousands of songs as he was with movie-trailers when he created the Morgan trailer, but being taught “music” (what pitch is etc) he will create songs without sounding like everything else and therefore actually contribute to potentially new genres or new trends in music. I think we all remember those years when everything that was released sounded like it was produced by Timbaland (and mostly was)?

“Watson Beat is not constrained by normal human biases, and those biases can actually get in our way,” says Rob High CTO IBM Watson.

You can often hear slight traces of the original song, but that is not always the case. Here is the Set from Soundcloud.

I first noted that Watson Beat was in the making when I stumbled upon the IBM Research Soundcloud account and found a set that was named Watson Beat. At that time I tried to find more information, but it was a dead end for me, I just found out it was an IBM Research project that might be released.

Just recently I found this Facebook Live video with the two individuals that build Watson Beat at IBM Research. In the video, Janani Mukundan, a machine learning researcher at the IBM Austin Lab and musician Richard Daskas, say that the app hopefully will be released by the end of 2016 and, more importantly, it will be released as Open Source.

I think it is a very interesting project and looking forward to play with the app when it is released.


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