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How music can predict the human/machine future

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How music can predict the human/machine future
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From HAL to Wiimotes and Kinect, musicians have predicted the future of machine/human interaction. Because music connects with time, body, and emotion in a unique way, they test the limits of technology. Now it's time to work out what comes next. What's going on here - how did musicians manage to invent major digital interaction tech before anyone else? Before the iPad, the first commercial multi-touch product was built for musicians and DJs. Before the Wii remote, musicians built gestural controllers, dating back to the early part of the 20th century. Before the moon landing, Max Mathews' team of researchers taught computers to make music and sing, inspired HAL in 2001: A Space Odyssey, and may have even built the precursor to object-oriented programming.Music's demands - to be expressive, real-time, and play with others - can test the limitations of technology in a way people feel deeply, and help us get beyond those limitations.
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and come back go on the stage for and we continue this in English now on the next speaker is Peter Karim wanna come up already been evident tutor will talk about so how music can predict the human-machine future and I'm really am interested to know what it will be about because from the title that makes me really curious and Peter is an American journalist and um audio visual artists he writes adds create digital music . com which is a very comprehensive uh
websites and think and recomended reading and as co-creator of the open-source ME blips and 2 sizes so Peter and
most thank you OK so now I don't have to
say who I am which is great we can get them straight into it I should say like I come from a music background so were at what seems to be kind of a technology conference and sometimes accused by people who I was gonna say people who don't know me but also people who do know me of being techie but my background is really from music and actually comes from non electronic music and I was trained as a piano player the so I am very very biased and the very right biased musician 1 of the instructions that we got for Republican was do not give a sales pitch some kind of breaking that rule because this whole talk really is sort of a sales pitch it's it's just a sales pitch for music so
we're in a really exciting place being in Berlin and even being in Germany and in that this is a really special place for where music and technology come together is an extraordinary just astounding number of musical engineers in this country and add unparalleled anywhere else in the world I would say even unparalleled in the United States and had just tons
and tons and tons of talent and those of us in the music side of things haven't always done a great job of communicating with that the rest of the city especially as this this internet phenomenon has happened in there's all kinds of conversations that could be happening between these 2 communities they often are so what I'm doing what I always tend to do which is being kind advocate for music and advocates not just for music is the music industry and listening to records and Spotify and all those things but really music creation and music performance as a way of understanding how our power culture works and how to design better for people not just musicians but for human beings the
so i'm gonna talk a little bit about design and a little bit about culture design is a great worry because and it's a great example of what I'm what I'm saying you know I taught at Parsons The New School for Design while I was in New York and and talk a lot about the were designed and the
word design has become synonymous with the visual design so unless someone says specifically sound design talking about the explosions in a new movie or something if you hear the word design people almost immediately assume that visual at Parsons we said design we met visual design and and you also hear people talk about how we live in a visual culture I hear the phrase life well we live in a visual culture In maybe were not so aware of of sound I I don't believe it's true and actually I think part of what drives people to suggest that we live in a visual culture is that our culture is so sunny in the way that we relate to our environment so rooted in sound that we take that for granted it's it's so important that we almost can't think about it and I'm so this is those are the 2 things and it can talk about today but when you go back in time a little bit 43 thousand years ago the Slovenian have 30 minutes so this means I'm now covering
43 thousand years of history for 24 in to what about 20 minutes is not so good but here's what I mean and as England Slovenian were from a Slavic country OK but if I would ask you have it the right way to pronounce the survivors but this is the this is a food that we believe is about 43 thousand years ago or we believe that it's a fluke it's a it's a bone with 2 evenly spaced holes in it and it's a fragment that was found in a cave in the mid nineties there are a number of archaeological artifacts like this the tens of thousands of years old now but this is the
oldest appears to be from the Cro-Magnons period and it really does seem to be a fluke so we think a lot about the 1st tools in the emergence of language in human beings as as being things like knives and and bows and arrows and spears but almost at the moment that language seems to appear in human beings or even to free human beings Cro-Magnon and the moment that that these primates start making tools they seem to start immediately making musical instruments where there is some chance of this is not a fluid of the people who studied at figure that the answer something in the millions to 1 but you would have to haul spaced in a way that produces this tuning she if you think about the basic food it's a fantastic designed it is exactly fitted to the size of your hand there seems to even be the appearance of a thumb a whole and this particular artifact so it's the hand
shape Industrial design and it's also matched to the natural or physical properties of sound to the overtone series so when we
think about tools we should think about how musical instruments related tools and we'll come back to fruits in a in a bit and another piece of evidence this is now going back to the future in the present and another piece of evidence that we really live in a sound culture as well as a visual culture is and noise complaints so this is from Wired magazine in 2010 this is how important sound and noise are to all of us but in New York we have this for a phone line called 3 1 1 reading dialog the city and you get the whole city I you can complain about anything to this 1 number that's been around for about 10 years does not exist in Berlin this is a New York New York technology is is geared toward complaining so the question is
what do New Yorkers complain about and and what's what's astonishing is by far the most common complaint is noise that pink area in the center is noise and that even versus things like rodents maybe we gave up complaining about those I am you'd get dirty sanitation problems all these other things people are most bothered by noise so noise is a big part of the way that you I experienced environment in fact after today you can try this experiment someone told me that they thought if they had to lose 1 sense they rather lose their hearing they lose their vision of course we really would prefer to keep everything but watch people is you as you walk around after the event today and look for people with headphones but sometimes it works if you're going toward than it almost always works if you're behind them but what you'll find is that people who
don't wear headphones like in the bond I I don't know when you're behind the door actually turn around and kind of see if you approach the if they are wearing headphones they want to see you not only will they not here you will be able to see you and it's because we have such incredible location situational awareness based on sound that were were really aware of who's around us but also of sound the so let's talk about how you can design around this natural sensitivity to sound and music and and now we go back to
19 1920 in Russia and are highly and chairman the Soviets have were working at the time on us back to situational
awareness proximity sensors they were doing research and how they could kind of figure out where people were but at the time you know the electronics and radios and things were almost magical to people we didn't really have a good way to relate to them using almost anything other than the now interment through an accident and incredibly simple circuits that uses Usman or capacitive induction came up with something new and this was the 1st to link the room
that had a this is thinking a you during 2013 were still wrapping our heads around and technology and uh just use the world that the a china plate using a world the enhanced access even more beautiful
was the musicians are 1 of the 2 determine has an unfortunate Association was formed in science had spooky instrument you want plan how we when use the car or you can make a lot of beautiful edition of the twenties you rule a 0 or you move from the EU and the use of electronic and really humbled by car and with always synthesizes a resource of electronic instrument so not just what happens in a lot of the uh the right and this is the quality of the human body which is something about mobile ways that you want to achieve with this side of the keyboard instrument that is used in more and more of these are the some of the 1 that's sounds like voices well you can now is the analog technology in the twenties and turns
to cut the and that was like technology in the twenties I was the amazing thing that happened at the beginning of the computer revolution I was being able to
teach the computer to make music and it's actually happened even before computers were really doing any kind graphics and the innovator who led the team was a guy named Max Mathews so renowned United States in Princeton New Jersey is working at leading a team at Bell Labs which are in the fifties and sixties came up with many many of the innovations that we rely on today the and so the max began with suffer called music this is how early this research was he needed the he needed a name for this offer he was writing that would allow you to make music with a computer so he called it music because nothing else to that and so that that's how early this was and as soon as 1957 a computer made truly newly-generated music for the 1st time there been some experiments with kind of series of beeps or alert turn the low tones but in 1957 and IBM mainframe for the 1st time made real music that was pretty impressive but working with people also at Bell Labs who were researching vocal synthesis max went and it do something even more impressive tell people seeing the last scene in the movie 2001 OK so how the computer as he's being disconnected but he you here is kind of memory falling apart and the last thing that he does is how sings the song called Daisy Bell and the reason he sings that is the idea was that this evil computer was at some point kind of like it child computer learning to sing in the 1st song that any computer ever sang was the song Daisy bell actually have you heard a dubbed version of the movie I just learned this the computer sings a different song like if and a French Delbert things some French some but but but this is this is the solid seems really here actually through a really wonderful piece that's more recent and by a friend of the 2 friends of mine Daniel Massey and Aaron Copeland reinterpreted and created a piece of does a lot around this moment but here's that here's with that sounded like groom groove parameter right so this is really the
meaning in your uh who uh there you 1962 World Computing 1st time maybe into law was proved that collapsing the song is that you do not know the 2009 something
you read more than 2 dozen something the what's I
should on had 170 the on this but it the way which was researching errors PCR and goes back and recreates that song I'm using by using a human voices crowdsourced to sing again I but I think this is a really important moment in how
we related to computers because for the 1st time we were able to make a computer do we can do and be able to sing a song and since then digital synthesis and and making music with computers has been really a fundamental part of of what we do Max's contributions may have been influential in other ways as well as by being able to produce music with the computer max is able to create a system of digital synthesis that impact all kinds of signal processing not only in music but almost every application in computers that would they would come some music was a good test but it it led to advances that expanded far beyond use the and I it some people even argue that the work that max did influence object or a programming he came up with this system for his music software the divided sound into component parts and the little modules that sort of interconnect and um some people actually attribute this to object-oriented programming and the idea of being able to make a computer an extension of your own mind where we can say with some certainty that music was part of that model is in the 19 seventies late seventies the
Dynabook project it's 0 Xerox PARC so if Bell Labs dominated the fifties and sixties and computers Xerox PARC was probably the the real hotbed of the of the late seventies some and somehow my finest cut off a little bit but the 2 people here that I can quota Alan K which is a name you may know an adult Greenberg which is a name you may not know but not Dallas she was also really influential in the model that we now have how we think about computers and on the left is something called the Dynabook the the people seen this before the Dynabook there's some practical little bit oppressor an iPad so as early as the late seventies divorcing hey what if we had this computer something big and clunky look like a tablet that was about the size of a book and a screen where everything was graphical and what they describe was basically an iPad a little bit more than the iPad when it 1st came out and they had a prototype working in 1977 78 I don't Greenberg is an interesting character to them and that she helped develop the whole if any of your programmers the whole model of your
controller idea an object or a programming and she and Alan Kay and this team of incredible people from what I found especially interesting researching this was that they return to the idea of a musical instrument to measure how well this human computer interaction is working the and they said they even use the fluid back 40 2 thousand Euro model these the fluid as the measure that would determine ky whether this computer was working so that they wanted the computer to be as responsive as expressive as a flute i'm because remember the time and sometimes even now you would come make an action on a computer
and and get a result several moments later which is no good so musical instruments make great ways of measuring any interactive system if something feels as good as an instrument does any kid can pick up an instrument and make noises with it it's a good indication that you're onto something and how that will feel to to people doing all kinds of other things and not just music and and another way of looking at this interaction aside from
gestures and this kind of means of extending your mind is the drawing on his a couple of other early example is the so-called 14 rather with of former teachers the images to with your fine layout and that it's got heated 68
yielding and he did it was the major seventies early eighties is fast all the calls
itself if you fall the food and the obligations and only communities all the other the
peak the usual offshore universal from the so the composer yonis Xenakis have developed a system called the you pick they're translated tablet motions into sound and music and is that as soon
as this is as early as the late seventies he started describing this idea since the sixties and don't I think just yesterday was introducing their new idea of what to do with the tablet of a this is another instance where some musical applications predicted what would come to the site might be slightly out of order 0 no no there's a reason I did this because this is a list of things and this is a more recent project student gone Levinson Carnegie Mellon and Pennsylvania in W 1 and another another kind of 1 of my favorite applications of this idea of
being able to drive and this is in in
minutes called this conditional using things catch controlled and we're using camera tracking and interactive software and is able to draw controls for for music or other
applications much like Xenakis did with with his work and did
and in the the work is known to you and I'm and I think there's a tremendous potential variability and draw and sketch of new interfaces in this way uh because we start releasing hormone had seen
how hard the Hon Hai home has a heart home home home
Hank Hoffman half Bob Hope essentially the same thing with the area of the human so-called quot of the work that we're doing because it can't really which uses the the ways of thinking about what kind of discovery on its users you have a student who did I heard and I really don't have
the time I think that the the user features and what and what institutions of another
instance of musicians from being a bit ahead of the curve in thinking about gestural interfaces for music at 2 other examples so if you think about the last 10 years they've been dominated by some new interface paradigms 1 is the Microsoft Kinect and camera tracking 1 is the Nintendo Wii remote and I think 1 is the iPhone
iPad multi-touch interface for each of these reuse experimentally by musicians before they were used in these mainstream applications in fact when people saw the Wii Remote on people saw echoes of the 1987 interface again by Max Mathews the radio but time and so here's max again Max 2 was the 1st person ever to do digital synthesis in the fifties continued to be an innovator in each decade leading up to his death from a couple years ago so let me now play a little bit of the music for you the we and
do it and we have so this is the Radiobots part uses a combination of sensors
and wireless sensors inside the actual malice later we extended to work in three-dimensional space assumed to be a with max is doing more than just playing an instrument is also shifting the time of the music these planes and conducting it with this man so you have a moment about this is that now when the model of the content of the ways you when the amount of Nintendo stood up on the stage and then go on with the remote we were among the 1st time conducting he was doing almost identical and almost identical experiment to what mattered than in 1987 a and I have to cover a lot of it but really at a home at that before the iPad from a group of researchers at a French company called jazz mutant developed a piece of
hardware called the Lima the end the Lima before the iPad became the 1st multi-touch hardware to be available to the public here's a couple of lemmas being used by the band which might so that's what of
smoke everywhere but all of the basic features of the iPad including 10 finger touch control and multi you finger tracking were on this hardware the lemurs several years before the iPad came out supply what happened was the musical community already recognize what they saw the view that the iPhone keynote relational that I've seen that before now I can have that on my fault I know what to do with that so this is a quick overview of the
history of the musicians being a little bit ahead of the curve on on on gestural interaction touch interaction out why we might telling you all this and other than bragging about some people who I admire am it's because I think there's probably some clues to the future of foot interfaces In some of these interactions so we live now in a world that has mountains amounts of data and other people need to be able to navigate all this data for going have any control over and all we know that the
governments in big institutions will be able to mine this data but whether individuals will do it seems dependent on whether we can create the kind of interfaces that a fluid enough for them to be able to to navigate and because machines are so much a part of our life and our taking on new forms a new parts of the world new markets and new devices we
will be constantly testing whether a designs can hold up to the kind of expressive interactions that makes our machines satisfying used for human beings and I think that a lot of the work that musicians are going now that can can move in this direction and how we actually
had this conversation a few years ago at South by Southwest with Joy Mountford with let the yahoo Advanced Technology Group and which we had the top right after was disbanded which is an exciting moment am but it in even in that time musicians in particular continued explore three-dimensional interfaces that store lots and lots of information it's a pretty expressive ways that this is a canadian single developer of something called audio geo music you here is actually being synthesised entirely time inside this freedom and freezing three-dimensional environments for all this offer is now made available to you and the earliest supporters in his using ozone it's it's already provided plants and all running on time and say it's crazy three-dimensional and you probably seen other
sorts of examples this is our connect base example which in this the
yeah and so on probably the tenements person using connected to a
real-time interaction with greater values it has this is how the timing of when it is it is it right so we give you as a musician you know when you're in a lag between when you lose your commonly used to great has this timing sensitivity have something like an act as a getting ahead of time using it in the case of connected and say people of invariance clustering time so it's exciting to see musicians his least units if you seen we motion is sort of the next thing in gesture control and test that in the same way but moving in
the opposite direction I think another the mailing possibility is you know what is the opposite of on as a lot of glass and attach 3 dimensions of the other area that we home using media working on this in 2 ways to think on all also the the other week in bed and computers and so on smaller forms the next to no money on we have the opportunity to everything here is is something other than the screens on the online Crabtree along telling came from artists from senior I don't have a model then later with that management instrument called the Hough and these devices become kind of physical sculptures no and then finally so I can take a couple of questions that are like last 60 seconds in a say that it's also
possible to put those 2 together so here's a friend of mine is based in Berlin the used well you take my word for specialist a questions the back here you know you
do and time for exams because the question
you know I love beer as a way of discussing and assessing these things and I will be around for the evening so you know maybe the best thing to do is I mean me after the show and thanks a lot thank you much
fit you have been using the