Finally, Cope's program could divine what made Bach sound like Bach and create music in that style. It broke rules just as Bach had broken them, and made the result sound musical. It was as if the software had somehow captured Bach's spirit -- and it performed just as well in producing new Mozart compositions and Shakespeare sonnets. One afternoon, a few years after he'd begun work on Emmy, Cope clicked a button and went out for a sandwich, and she spit out 5,000 beautiful, artificial Bach chorales, work that would've taken him several lifetimes to produce by hand.
I'm going to try to get a hold of some of these computer-generated works and give you, dear readers, the official Bellman review. But in the meantime, I want to focus on what Jason Kottke said when he linked to the article about Cope:
Gosh it's going to get interesting when machines can do some real fundamental "human" things 10,000x faster and better than humans can.
Humanists, take note! This is not a threatening development.
First, let me posit that while Cope's work's works may not rise to the level of human genius, some algorithms will reach that benchmark during our lifetimes (except maybe your lifetime, Oldy McAbouttodie).
This assertion is not one most of my writer, artist, or musician friends agree with, but they (you?) are wrong, wrong wrong. It's inevitable.
Second, this is not a bad thing. Yes, there will be violent change to our idea of what makes a person or a particular work of art valuable or important. But this change will ultimately be for the better. How could being surrounded by the best art ever made, freshly baked each week, possibly be bad? Computers will find ways to reliably speak to our souls in ways that we rarely have.
(img via Curved White)