Google’s newest artwork undertaking recruits an animated chicken — and AI — to play the cello

Google is likely to be laser targeted on generative AI today, like the vast majority of its Massive Tech opponents. However that hasn’t stopped the search big from patronizing fairly out-there artwork tasks, true to its experimental roots.

Enter the newest creation from Google’s Artwork & Tradition Lab, Viola the Bird, which makes use of AI to know cello and violin compositions. The work has Viola — an animated chicken that evokes a Sesame Avenue character — “carry out” well-known Beethoven, Vivaldi, Holst and Ravel stringed items as a consumer strikes their mouse forwards and backwards alongside a digital cello of their internet browser.

David Li, the artist behind Viola, labored with cellists and violinists in addition to music arrangers to develop the AI, which he then utilized to create an audio synthesis engine that generates the sounds of a cello or violin based mostly on a consumer’s mouse actions.

Google Viola

Viola enjoying music, powered by AI.

“The result’s an interactive music experiment that’s each enjoyable and academic,” Pamela Peter-Agbia, a program supervisor at Google Arts & Tradition, writes in a weblog put up. “Viola the Chook is an effective way for anybody to find out about string devices and to discover their very own creativity by way of music.”

Having spent a while with Viola, I can attest to the “enjoyable” half — however wouldn’t go as far as to say the undertaking is academic. It doesn’t present sheet music or notes to accompany your “enjoying,” and there aren’t any guardrails to stop somebody from performing songs wildly off-tempo.

Questionable pedagogy apart, there’s sufficient to maintain even informal classical followers entertained for a minute, like a recording function and a freestyle mode that permits you to jam through Viola, on the viola, till you’ve had your fill.

If you happen to’re bored through the subsequent lunch break — or have younger youngsters to maintain entertained — give Viola a attempt. It’s free. Simply preserve your expectations in test — not like a few of Google’s different AI-powered explorations in music of late, this chicken received’t precisely blow your thoughts.

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