Robot Music

robot bus

What kind of music will robots make when they can process human art and emotions?

New York University’s Hannah Davis and the National Research Council Canada’s Saif Mohammad have created a complex algorithm that can analyze a range of human emotions inside a novel and write music for the book.


The program scans famous novels, divides them into four sections and generates “background music” suited for the emotional tone of the individual section.  

Follow these links to listen to music generated for Lord of the Flies by William Golding or Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad.

Popular Science has more about this mind-bending computer program:  

Among other things, the algorithm matches music to emotion by choosing different octaves, tempos, and keys. The sentiment analysis algorithm the researchers used was able to identify eight emotions in novels: trust, joy, sadness, fear, surprise, anger, and disgust. So the researchers wrote equations to tell their software how to choose the right qualities to go with these emotions. Joy and trust, for example, call for higher octaves. Anger, disgust, fear and sadness get lower octaves.

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