DEC 25, 2017 10:48 AM PST

When Artificial Intelligence Meets Christmas Music


While artificial intelligence is a big part of some research projects in neuroscience and could be the way forward in treating several neurological conditions, it's not an exact science. Neural networks, which are computer programs set up to imitate how the brain learns, can do many things with algorithms and machine learning. Recently, Colorado-based researcher Janelle Shane set up a neural network to write Christmas carols. While it might seem like a simple task, the resulting songs were not entirely what was expected.

Shane started with a collection of 240 Christmas carols aggregated by the Times of London. After inputting all the lyrics and the music, the neural network began crunching the data. While the program needed several tries to get recognized words and full sentences to come out of the algorithms, the songs were not very traditional. Lyrics like, "King of toys and hippopotamuses [sic] full of the light of that stood at the dear Son of Santa Claus. He was born in a wonderful Christmas tree" and "Santa baby, a Blitzen, And he was the sun and reindeer and earth, the Saviour of the chimney tonight" were what came out of the experiment, so it's safe to say that, at least for this year, AI will not become the Grinch that stole Christmas.
About the Author
English
I'm a writer living in the Boston area. My interests include cancer research, cardiology and neuroscience. I want to be part of using the Internet and social media to educate professionals and patients in a collaborative environment.
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