Sunday, November 1, 2015

Eric Tomsky
Information Systems: Emre Yetgin
Blog Post #3

            Researchers at the University of Arizona are developing a robot by the name of “M.U.S.I.C.A.”, this stands for Musical Improvising Collaborative Agent. These researchers will build a machine that [hopefully] bridges the gap between humans and machines in that the Robot will be able to improvise live jazz solos in response to human players. This new technology is important because, if it is successful, it could be applied to creating better and more efficient IT. This will result in an overall progression of all current technologies, and also expand markets due to better technology being more readily available. This is all best case scenario though, there are some points that make this technology seem a little less than desirable. First, if this new technology is extremely successful then it may decrease the demand for labor because the labor forces will become more automated in an effort to reduce costs and increase efficiency. Next, the entire design of the device and the way in which it works will be so complex and laborious to build that this device does not seem like it will make an appearance any time soon. The computer will possess a database that is able to access any jazz solo from a variety of musicians and the computer will analyze the recordings to study the underlying processes of music. While this seems doable, one must keep in mind that music is composed of rhythm, harmony, timing, feeling, and pitch- so the computer must be able to access multiple databases, link them accordingly and then analyze those carefully placed connections to produce a sound that is music. The machine must be able to mimic the tendencies of a real player so in effect these databases must be linked to accomplish that feat. In the words of Jazz Trumpeter/ researcher Ben Grosser, “When it comes to jazz, you feel the music as much as you hear and think about it — you react instinctively to things that are going on."All in all, this “idea” holds promise but is too early in the stages of development to really evaluate.

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