Google's Blob Opera is a weird and wonderful experiment

Thanks to machine learning, you can make a bunch of colorful blobs harmonize with each other.

Erin Carson Former Senior Writer
Erin Carson covered internet culture, online dating and the weird ways tech and science are changing your life.
Expertise Erin has been a tech reporter for almost 10 years. Her reporting has taken her from the Johnson Space Center to San Diego Comic-Con's famous Hall H. Credentials
  • She has a master's degree in journalism from Syracuse University.
Erin Carson

The most musical blobs you've ever met. 


A quartet of opera signing blobs is at your command, courtesy of an interactive arts and culture offering from Google and artist David Li called Blob Opera.

With Blob Opera, you have a set of four blobs --  a bass, mezzo-soprano, soprano and tenor --  whose pitch and vowel sounds you can change by moving them up or down, forward or back. Using machine learning, the blobs automatically harmonize with each other, and if you like what they're signing, you can record your musical creation. 

"This experiment pays tribute to and explores the original musical instrument: the voice," Google said in a blogpost Tuesday. The blobs' voices are modeled on actual opera singers. What comes out of the blobs' mouths, though, is a machine learning interpretation of what opera sounds like. 

If you can't get your blobs performing the way you'd like, you can toggle a switch and listen to them singing Christmas songs like Jingle Bells and Silent Night.

You can also share your creation. Here is a Blob Opera original that I crafted on the fly. Enjoy.