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Computers

Intel's AI rock band is definitely going to win the talent night, you guys

They might even make nationals if Ella the robot would learn her cues…

Intel's AI rock band on stage at Computex 2018

Um, OK computer: Behold Intel's AI band, featuring two humans and two avatars. 

Intel

Intel has finally crossed the last threshold of artificial intelligence -- re-creating the adorably grungy and slightly out-of-sync sounds of your high school rock band.

The chipmaker pulled out all the stops at its Computex keynote in Taipei on Tuesday, with its senior vice president and GM of client computing, Gregory Bryant, unveiling brand-new eighth-gen Intel Core chips, showing off futuristic dual-screen laptops from Asus and Lenovo and talking up the future of lightning-fast 5G.

After getting the fanciest new laptops in the world, a film studio exec and even Brooklyn Nets star Jeremy Lin onstage, there was a surprise. That's right -- if you thought this event was just for the squares, you thought wrong. Gregory Bryant came here to rock out on his invisible drum kit.

Specifically, Intel was here to show off an AI band, powered by its Movidius vision processing unit and featuring humans playing high-tech instruments and AI avatars who joined in based on their cues. 

GB was on the invisible drums (in actuality a series of sensors recording his arm movements and creating matching drum sounds in real time), musician Kevin Doucette was on the keyboard and two AI avatars on a massive screen responded to the music in real time, playing their own virtual instruments.

The result was… third-place-at-the-local-bowling-alley-talent-night good?

Look, the humans were clearly the winners here (and who knew Intel's head of PCs was a drummer?). AI is freaking amazing but it also has a ways to go before it can emulate the full concert experience. 

I feel like if Ella and Miles the avatars would just stick to GB's beat instead of trying to run this band, then maybe we'd have a chance. It's almost like they don't even care. And if that's their attitude, frankly, maybe the humans should just replace them and tour around in GB's uncle's van like we always said.

Then we'd really rock out.

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