Meet singing and songwriting robot

Meet singing and songwriting robot

He has moves like Jagger (almost). And he’s coming to a music venue near you. But he’s not like any performer you’ve ever seen. He’s not even human.

Shimon, the marimba-playing robot, has learned some new skills: He sings, he dances a little, he writes lyrics, he can even compose some melodies. Now he’s taking them on the road in a concert tour to support a new album — just like any other musician.

The new album will have eight to 10 songs Shimon wrote with his creator, Georgia Tech Professor Gil Weinberg. It will drop on Spotify later this spring.

“Shimon has been reborn as a singer-songwriter,” Weinberg said. “Now we collaborate between humans and robots to make songs together.”

Weinberg will start with a theme — say, space — and Shimon will write lyrics around the theme. Weinberg puts them together and composes melodies to fit them. Shimon can also generate some melodies for Weinberg to use as he puts together a song. Then, with a band of human musicians, Shimon will play the songs and sing.

“I always wanted to write songs, but I just can’t write lyrics. I’m a jazz player,” Weinberg said. “This is the first time that I actually wrote a song, because I had inspiration: I had Shimon writing lyrics for me.”

Weinberg and his students have trained Shimon on datasets of 50,000 lyrics from jazz, prog rock, and hip-hop. Then Shimon uses deep learning, a class of machine learning algorithms, to generate his own words.

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Source: “Shimon: Now a Singing, Songwriting Robot”, Joshua Stewart, Georgia Institute of Technology