So they announce that Motley Crue is coming to town, you purchase your tickets because not only are you a huge Crue fan, but you’re also a giant fan of drummer, Tommy Lee.
Its two days before the show and the anticipation is building up. You’ve been waiting for this day for three months now.
The morning of the show, you wake up with a giant smile on your face. You go to school, not paying attention at all because your mind is on finally seeing your favorite drummer perform live.
You get to the show and there is an announcement over the loud speaker: “Drummer Tommy Lee has become very ill and will be unable to perform in tonight’s show. Replacing him will be Shimon”.
Shimon? Then you see a four-armed robot behind the drum kit, banging away crazier than Tommy Lee ever could.
Two years in the making now, Gil Weinberg, director of the Georgia Tech Center for Music Technology built a robot that has the ability to jam with humans.
We have all seen the pianos that play themselves, but Shimon actually uses artificial intelligence to analyze structure and improvise as other musicians play.
“Shimon relies on complex algorithms to identify tempo, beats, chord progressions and melodic dissonance and consonance.”
They have made it so the robots head will bob in tempo with the music.
Is this the future of live performances? I hope not. For me, there’s always a sense of closeness when you see a musician hit a wrong note, or strum the wrong chord. It shows you that, as much as we admire and look up to these people, they are human and make mistakes too.
Click here to watch a video of Shimon jamming with two human musicians.