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Music from Machines? Sony’s new laboratory for Artificial Music composes Music in all possible Styles

AI composes the melody and harmony and later a musician- produces, mixes, and writes lyrics for the track

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Sony Lab, VOA

October 21, 2016:

Daddy’s Car” is the name of the first AI- generated music by the Sony Computer Science Laboratory in Paris. Yes, the first song generated by Artificial Intelligence.

Believe it or not, but it is True!

The Music Team of Sony Computer Science Laboratory Paris was established in 1997 by François Pachet. This amazing team of Sony is associated with two main areas of music: the various features of interaction in music, and the challenges of tough music description. The intense research that is put into this since its creation has led to new modes of access to music, interaction with sound, and human interaction.

The Flow Machines software is designed to get its knowledge of music from a huge database of sheet music which has varied styles of songs and then writes that track after the style prompt given by a human composer. AI (Artificial intelligence) composes the melody and harmony and later a human musician- produces, mixes, and writes lyrics for the track.

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The music researchers at Sony have been researching and working on AI-generated music from years and they have previously used AI to create extraordinary jazz tracks. And now for the very first time the Sony Research Laboratory has come up with pop music generated by AI, and the results are majestic.

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B9Xshy60mC8

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The first song, Daddy’s Car is very catchy and its tune is a kind of memoir of “The Beatles.” French composer Benoît Carré was the human musician for the song.

Its second song, “Mr Shadow” was created in the style of Irving Berlin, Duke Ellington, George Gershwin and Cole Porter, the American musicians.

That’s just the beginning, this generation of music through Artificial Intelligence has a long way to go. In 2017, Sony is gearing up to release a full album through AI.

– by Chesta Ahuja, NewsGram.  Twitter: @ahuja_chesta

 

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Ragas for Preschool Children: Combining Classical Music with Fun Exercises

A unique model has been introduced by SPIC MACAY in which can lead to the all-round brain development of children between the age group of 3 to 6 yrs. old

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School Children, teachers, mobile phones
School Children in India. Pixabay
  • There are various benefits of learning classical music at an early age like it improves memory, emotional intelligence, and concentration, suggests a research.
  • The preschool module will have the young children learn classical music through different bodily movements like stomping, marching swaying, jumping or shaking. It will start from basic techniques like learning seven svaras of Indian classical music by teachers.
  • Each raga taught to the students in the module is linked with fun physical exercises or basic yoga techniques like padmasana and will help them memorize sooner. 

August 3, 2017: The left and right side of the brain, both are important for a balanced and rounded education of the child. This is why the Society for the Promotion of Indian Classical Music And Culture Amongst Youth (SPIC MACAY) is introducing a new module for preschool Children and caters to the children between three and six years of age to imbibe classical music in them through the use of interactive and fun-filled educational activities like yoga and music.

There are various benefits of learning classical music at an early age like it improves memory, emotional intelligence, and concentration, suggests a research. The effect of learning music on the child’s brain in the formative years can contribute a lot to the development of their brain. It has proven to relieve tension, alleviate boredom and strengthen the child’s core, mentally and emotionally beneficial. Thus, SPIC MACAY is utilizing the power of music in order to educate young children through interactive sessions.

Young Kids learning
Young Kids learning. pixabay

The preschool module will have the young children learn classical music through different bodily movements like stomping, marching swaying, jumping or shaking. It will start from basic techniques like learning seven svaras of Indian classical music by teachers. It will help the students to improve phonetic control and language skills. The students will also be taught different basic forms of yoga with naadyog, a meditation of sounds or mantras. According to a report by The Pioneer, Dr. Kiran Seth (who created this module) said, “This will inspire children from a young age of 3-5 years to become better human beings.”

The schools can introduce the module in whichever way they want. Any school can adapt by following the required procedure. First, they have to register at the SPIC MACAY office offline.  After which that they can choose amongst two options. As per the first option, they can send their music teachers to Aarambh (the beginning) School for five days for training under the supervision of Dr. Seth, to learn the methodology of teaching basic classical ragas and interactive techniques to young students. In addition, the cultural society’s volunteers will regularly visit the schools to oversee the progress. The second option is that they can opt for a visit thrice a week by SPIC MACAY trained volunteers-teachers.

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Children will be taught to play it like a game, putting their right and left leg forward to Sa Re Ga Ma, for the arohan (ascending) and avrohan (descending) notes, which will be done at different speeds. It will be done with the tanpura music in the background. Modules like these are designed to increase their meditative capacity and bring back focus amongst children, which can be lost due to overuse of electronic gadgets.

The module was designed after a five-year long research into child behavior. By mapping the change in their responses, post subjecting them to varied modules. Each raga taught to the students in the module is linked with fun physical exercises or basic yoga techniques like padmasana and will help them memorize sooner.

The society has a large network of volunteers throughout the country. So, this module can be implemented pan-India. The society also aims at regularly organizing its cultural events with the schools that opt for this module. These events which will have various artists performing will boost children’s interest in music. They are also providing several classical music CDs to schools free of cost.

At their 5th International Convention, Prime Minister Narendra Modi appreciated Dr. Seth for reviving our rich music, culture, and heritage. This move can bring a qualitative change in elementary education.

– prepared by Kritika Dua of NewsGram. Twitter @DKritika08

NewsGram is a Chicago-based non-profit media organization. We depend upon support from our readers to maintain our objective reporting. Show your support by Donating to NewsGram. Donations to NewsGram are tax-exempt.
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Are Robots Going To Take My Job? The War Between Man and Machine

Robots are getting better and better at performing jobs that were once done by humans. Is your job next?

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In the current age of technology, the need is to look for a robot-proof career.
With advancement in technology, it is becoming evident that computers, machines and robots are going to be able to do most routine, repetitive jobs. Pixabay
  • There are many things that a robot can do, and many that they simply can’t
  • Researchers predict that the entire professional landscape will be replaced by robots in next 20 years
  • Jobs with high levels of flexibility and interpersonal communication predicted to be safe from mechanized invasion

AUGUST 1, 2017: Man and machine have had a long association. Computers can drive cars now. They undertake scientific experiments in labs. And independently undertake to telemarket, among other things.

What does this mean for us as a society; will robots take our jobs?

As technology advances and computers learn to perform human tasks in lesser time and with greater efficiency than humans themselves, the professional landscape appears to be changing with machines taking over and threatening human job security.

According to global research firm Gartner, one in three jobs that exist today will be ‘converted’ to smart machines, robots, and software by 2025. Robots, it seems are taking over the world and how!

If this trend continues, it is going to be a struggle to find a job and NewsGram will have to publish an article that says “Run for your jobs, the robots are coming!

However, there still remain a combination of traits and jobs that an automated machine will not be able to replace for a long time.

What job is hardest for a robot to do?

Some aspects of a job are easier to automate than others depending upon the job- for example, telemarketing, which has already made the transition to a completely machine-run business.

According to a study by NPR, researchers have recognized 9 possible traits that are hard to be computerized. Among those, cleverness, negotiation, squeezing into small spaces, and helping others ranks high.

While the competition between man and machine stiffens, these are professions where human creativity, subjective judgment, and craftsmanship remain superior to any skill and cannot be matched by a machine,

  1. Healthcare and Medicine

Computers are being increasingly used in the healthcare sector for their technical expertise and data analysis, which has been reasonably automated as per latest robot technology. However, there continue to be aspects of healthcare that machines are simply incapable of the undertaking, like dealing with human psychology, taking tough decisions from incomplete data charts, etc. Machines lack empathy, a trait that forms the basis of the medical industry with patients investing trust in their doctors and reciprocating to their genuine concerns.

Because of their complexity and computing abilities, robots pose a threat of malfunctioning and putting a patient’s life in risk- the reason why it will be safe for humans to find a job in the healthcare sector.

  1. Education

With the advancement of technology, and the coming of online tutoring sites and computer applications, the education landscape has undergone a major change. However, this has not eradicated the need for human teachers. They co-exist with these online education portals, creating material and undertaking classes via the internet.

Their requirement can also not be replaced in the context of the more emotive and objective subjects like music, arts, and literature.  Therefore, education will remain one industry to guarantee job security in this regard.

  1. Culinary arts

Cooking is a combination of crafts and science and poses provocative questions whether the industry can be replaced by robots.

While one school of thought agrees that latest robot technology can ‘duplicate’ any recipe ever devised by mimicking precise human movements, it is largely believed that machines cannot take over culinary industry for their lack of senses- taste, smell, touch, sight, and hearing. In this regard, robots continue to be dumb, passive appliances that need instructions to function and lack creativity and experimentation, the foundation of culinary arts.

ALSO READ Robots displace millions of Manufacturing Workers in US: Automation getting Cheaper and more Common

  1. Law making

Placing politics, law, and order in the hands of an automated machine is touted as a suicidal form of anti-humanism for the simple reason that robots cannot think.

Drafting new laws requires taking into account past societal conditions and present, along with attention to the requirement and problem, in addition to strong interpersonal skills. Lawmakers and juries will always need some sense of human discernment to make laws and take judicial judgments, securing the professional legal landscape only for man.

In this regard, artificial intelligence will continue to be just that – artificial.

  1. Journalistic and Creative Writing

Robots cannot process human level of creativity, subjectivity and thus, expression. Good journalism will always be in demand which will be a major roadblock for machines taking over jobs.

While computers can be programmed to put together facts in perfect grammar, what they cannot replace is the human art of storytelling- to hold attention, keep them engrossed, and move the readers emotionally. In this current ‘Age of Content’, good writing has become an extremely profitable commodity. Interesting pieces that dig deep into the story and compel readers to read and share multiple times are traits that a machine cannot undertake.

Not on the list but definitely not going to be replaced anytime soon,

  1. Artists (Dancer, musician, painting, singing)
  2. Mental health professionals
  3. Sportsmen
  4. Anthropologists and archaeologists
  5. Social and community servicemen

We hope you have a happy day at work. And if your job isn’t on the list, then you have been warned.

– by Soha Kala of NewsGram. Twitter @SohaKala


NewsGram is a Chicago-based non-profit media organization. We depend upon support from our readers to maintain our objective reporting. Show your support by Donating to NewsGram. Donations to NewsGram are tax-exempt.
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“Rally for Rivers” Campaign: To Restore the Depleting River Flow in India

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Rally for Rivers Campaign
Rally for Rivers Campaign is organised by Isha Foundation. Wikimedia
  • The Rally for Rivers Campaign is an initiative of Isha Foundation, headed by Sadhguru
  • It is a campaign about the rivers of the country and the need for water protection and security
  • The Isha Foundation has laid out a Comprehensive River Rejuvenation plan to reform the state of rivers in India

July 28, 2017: The Isha Foundation, headed by Sadhguru, is organizing the Rally for Rivers Campaign. The initiative is formulated as an effort to raise awareness.

As Sadhguru had said about the campaign, “This is not a protest. This is not an agitation. This is a campaign to raise awareness that our rivers are depleting. Everyone who consumes water must Rally For Rivers.”

Unlike other movements, the Rally for Rivers is not to question or complain. Rather, it offers solutions. The Isha Foundation has designed a Comprehensive River Rejuvenation plan to restore the depleting rivers.

The Indian Rivers are going into depletion. The perineal rivers have become seasonal. The River Ganga has been named as one of the world’s most endangered river. Important rivers like Krishna, Kaveri, Narmada have stopped making it till the sea for four months. Every major river in India has undergone reduced water levels.

According to the estimations by researchers at Isha Foundation; by 2030, only 50% water will be available for our survival. Further, 25% of India is becoming desert. As compared to 1947, we have about 75% lesser water per person available today.

Thus arises a need for awareness and solutions. Isha Foundation has formulated a Comprehensive River Rejuvenation plan for river restorations. One of the solutions offered; planting tree covers. Tree covers should be created for a stretch of one kilometer on either side of the full river. For a tributary, the stretch is for half a kilometer.

To revitalize rivers, government owned land along the river banks will create and maintain native forest trees. On a private farm land, however, organic fruit cultivation shall take place.

ALSO READ: Swaraj India launches a unique campaign asking people to blow Whistle whenever they see anything Wrong happening around them

As the campaign explains, the need for a state as well as central government to be on the same page is vital to the success of the campaign. Rivers fall under the concurrent list, that is, the jurisdiction of both state as well as centre. Thus, any policy designed must be acknowledged equally by the both for effectiveness.

Additionally, for creating awareness, Sadhguru has himself planned a travel from Kanyakumari to Delhi. He aims to create as much awareness so that grass-root level support is provided to the campaign and its associated policies.

The campaign will begin from Isha Yoga Centre in Coimbatore on 3rd September and after more than ten stops end at Delhi on 2nd October. A total of 13 states are to be covered, in which 21 major cities are part of the campaign. Sadhguru has taken upon himself to cover the entire stretch of a total 6560 kms.

The organizers have made sure that the event is fun and entertaining for a maximum number of people to show up. Along the way and all the major stops, celebrations will be seen. Events like cultural fests, musical concerts, nukad natak, paintings and handicrafts, and public sessions have been organized by the Isha Foundation. Also, all the stakeholders of policies as well as rivers are cordially invited to learn and discuss more. Journalists, Corporate people, politicians, villagers, farmers and many more are expected to turn up at the event and contribute in whatever way they can.

The success of the Rally for Rivers campaign depends mostly on people’s support and encouragement to the cause. The campaign can be joined online.

– Prepared by Saksham Narula of NewsGram. Twitter: @Saksham2394