First Robot To Compose And Play Music Using AI

The robot named Shimon with four arms and eight sticks, thinks like a human musician…


In a first, a marimba-playing robot has been developed by Georgia Institute of Technology in the US, which can write, play and compose music using Artificial Intelligence and Deep Learning.

The robot named Shimon with four arms and eight sticks, thinks like a human musician which is “rather than thinking note by note, it has a larger idea of what it wants to play as a whole,” Mason Bretan, Ph.D. student at the Georgia Institute of Technology, said in a statement.

“Once Shimon learns the four measures we provide, it creates its own sequence of concepts and composes its own piece,” said Bretan. “Shimon’s compositions represent how music sounds and looks when a robot uses deep neural networks to learn everything it knows about music from millions of human-made segments.”

The researcher said that this is the first time a robot has used deep learning to create music. And unlike its days of improvising, when it played monophonically, Shimon is able to play harmonies and chords. It’s also thinking much more like a human musician, focusing less on the next note, as it did before, and more on the overall structure of the composition.  

The robot is also an exploration into whether robots could become musically creative and generate new music that humans could find beautiful, inspiring and strange.

Shimon will create more pieces in the future. As long as the researchers feed it a different seed, the robot will produce something different each time — music that the researchers cannot predict. 

Shimon’s debut as a solo composer was featured in a video clip in the Consumer Electronic Show (CES) keynote and will have its first live performance at the Aspen Ideas Festival at the end of June. 

TAGS: Shimon, Deep Learning, Artificial Intelligence, compose, Write, Music, Play