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Playing a piano duet with Google's new AI tool is fun

You don't need to be a musician to try it out.

The yellow notes are those played by the A.I. Duet.
Dong Ngo

Wanna play a piano duet but nobody's around? No worries. You still can, courtesy of Google's new interactive experiment called A.I. Duet. Basically, you play a few notes and the computer plays other notes in response to your melody.

What's special about A.I. Duet is that it plays with you using machine learning, and not just as a machine that's programmed to play music with notes and rules hard-coded into it.

According to Yotam Mann, a member of Google's Creative Lab team, A.I. Duet has been exposed to a lot of examples of melodies. Over time, it learns the relationships between notes and timing and builds its own music maps based on what it's "listened" to. These maps are saved in the artificial intelligence's neural networks. As you play music to the computer, it compares what you're playing with what it's learned and responds with the best match in real time. This results in "natural" responses, and the computer can even produce something it was never programmed to do.

You can try A.I Duet here. You don't need to be a musician to use it, because the artificial intelligence responds even if you just smash on the keyboard. And in that case, its notes definitely sound better than yours.

A.I. Duet is part of a project called Magenta that's being run by Google's Google Brain unit. It's an open-source effort that's available for download.