Building Machines With an Ear for Music

By improving on machine-learning technology, engineers are working to create man-machine hybrids that can not only recommend great music but usher in a new era of scientific discovery. 

What's the Latest Development?


Imagine you wanted to find every jazz song that combines the harmonica with the saxophone. One day soon, you may be able to. By improving on current algorithmic recommendation technology, the kind that suggests which books you should buy on Amazon and which movies you should watch on Netflix, engineers are finding ways to classify the vast libraries of music we have on the Internet. Currently, computer-based recommendation systems cannot recommend anything that is not already popular, and human-based classification systems are ill-equipped to handle the 60 hours of multimedia uploaded to YouTube every minute. 

What's the Big Idea?

Computer engineers in California and New York want to create a hybrid of the man and machine techniques for classifying and recommending music. By refining machine-learning software, engineers can teach a computer how to mimic ways that humans classify music, then make recommendations based on those classifications. This kind of naturally-enhanced AI is becoming increasingly popular: "Such man-machine collaborations seem to be taking over many facets of artificial intelligence. ... In medicine, law, finance, retailing, manufacturing and even scientific discovery, the key to winning the race is not to race against machines, but to win using machines." 

Photo credit: Shutterstock.com

 

Why a federal judge ordered White House to restore Jim Acosta's press badge

A federal judge ruled that the Trump administration likely violated the reporter's Fifth Amendment rights when it stripped his press credentials earlier this month.

WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 16: CNN chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta (R) returns to the White House with CNN Washington bureau chief Sam Feist after Federal judge Timothy J. Kelly ordered the White House to reinstate his press pass November 16, 2018 in Washington, DC. CNN has filed a lawsuit against the White House after Acosta's press pass was revoked after a dispute involving a news conference last week. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Acosta will be allowed to return to the White House on Friday.
  • The judge described the ruling as narrow, and didn't rule one way or the other on violations of the First Amendment.
  • The case is still open, and the administration may choose to appeal the ruling.
Keep reading Show less

How to split the USA into two countries: Red and Blue

Progressive America would be half as big, but twice as populated as its conservative twin.

Image: Dicken Schrader
Strange Maps
  • America's two political tribes have consolidated into 'red' and 'blue' nations, with seemingly irreconcilable differences.
  • Perhaps the best way to stop the infighting is to go for a divorce and give the two nations a country each
  • Based on the UN's partition plan for Israel/Palestine, this proposal provides territorial contiguity and sea access to both 'red' and 'blue' America
Keep reading Show less

Scientists just voted to change the definition of a kilogram

The definition of a kilogram will now be fixed to Planck's constant, a fundamental part of quantum physics.

Greg L via Wikipedia
Surprising Science
  • The new definition of a kilogram is based on a physical constant in quantum physics.
  • Unlike the current definition of a kilogram, this measurement will never change.
  • Scientists also voted to update the definitions of several other measurements in physics.
Keep reading Show less