By Harshajit Sarmah
Of all the forms of music evolved organically, beatboxing is perhaps one of the most intriguing ones. It is the art of controlling one’s breath, lips, and mouth movement to create musical sounds that sound more like electronic beats. And while an artificial intelligence system may not possess any of these organs or body parts, it can now beatbox like a pro.
Talking about the series, Reeps One travels the world, learning about the potential of the human voice for creating sounds and connecting people. And finally ending up creating a spectacle performance using a sophisticated, deep learning AI system.
In order to create the AI, Reeps One and CJ Carr worked on to run a deep learning experiment — neural network. They fed the machine with some sample beatbox audio by Reeps One (which acted as a dataset) and what they saw was the system was trying to figure out how to recreate the raw audio one sample at a time.
After a few thousand iterations, just like an embryo, the AI grew, and the AI was almost close to mimicking Reeps One’s beatboxing. And after 35,000+ iterations, the results that the AI showed was mind boggling — it was not only beatboxing, but it also caught the rhythm. But what was more amazing is the fact that this AI was even able to predict and also create the next part of the track.
But on the other hand, technology also seems to be on the race to become the best beatboxer. And projects like Second Self and The Reeplicator AI shows how the capabilities of AI to reach the human level. AI is definitely going all out to show the world that it can do wonder literally in any industry. But the major question here is — who has more to offer when it comes to beatboxing, AI or human?
A still from the documentary “We Speak Music”