Google's AI art project tickles the ivories in its debut

The 90-second piano melody is the first piece of art released under Project Magenta, an artificial intelligence effort to create original music and visual art.

Steven Musil
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Steven Musil is the night news editor at CNET News. He's been hooked on tech since learning BASIC in the late '70s. When not cleaning up after his daughter and son, Steven can be found pedaling around the San Francisco Bay Area. Before joining CNET in 2000, Steven spent 10 years at various Bay Area newspapers.
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Watch this: Google A.I. just created music

Move over Gaga, here comes Google.

The Web giant on Wednesday unveiled a 90-second piano melody (mp3), the first piece of art created by machine learning as part of Project Magenta. The project, announced last week at Moogfest, is an artificial intelligence effort to create original music and visual art.

Along with creating music and art, another goal of the project is to build a community of artists, coders and machine learning researchers, Douglas Eck, a research scientist working on Project Magenta, wrote in a blog post Wednesday explaining more about the team's ambitions. Eck wrote that the team wants to open-source the infrastructure, beginning with audio and video support.

One of the greatest challenges of the project is not only creating art but also telling a compelling story, Eck wrote.

"The design of models that learn to construct long narrative arcs is important not only for music and art generation, but also areas like language modeling, where it remains a challenge to carry meaning even across a long paragraph, much less whole stories," Eck wrote

The project is built on top of Google's TensorFlow, the artificial-intelligence engine the Web giant uses to add capabilities such as speech and object recognition to its products.

This article also appears in Spanish. Read: Google usa la inteligencia artificial para tocar piano y crear artes visuales.