If the thought of a Wiimote-controlled robot drum circle sounded vaguely disturbing, prepare yourself. This month, composer and software developer David Cope is set to unveil the first musical works composed by his latest creation, dubbed "Emily Howell." Emily is a piece of software that many see as the most advanced artificially intelligent music composer. The program is already stirring fierce debate over its supposed ability to generate creations indistinguishable from those composed by the masters--Mozart, Bach and the gang. Miller-McCune went in-depth with this strange and fascinating tale of creativity in the age of artificial intelligence.
A musician has harnessed the power of two Nintendo Wiimotes to become a cyborg percussionist with the robo-band Jazari. His playing of one drum machine can evoke an automated response from another, so that he can go around the drum circle in a beautiful display of human-robot improvisation.