Facebook researchers used AI to create a universal music translator. Consider the sound of a human crudely whistling the theme music from the Indiana Jones movies.

Then, imagine a computer listening to the whistled version of that song, and imitating it—but in the style of Bach, on an organ. A small group of researchers from a division of Facebook have created an artificial intelligence system that’s capable of doing just that—listening to an audio file of a song and then mimicking it with new instrumentation.

It’s a cover band with a synthetic brain. They call it a “universal music translation network,” and from a given music file, it can spit out music in six different styles.

It’s not just Indiana Jones and Bach. The system can take a classic, heartfelt song like “Always on My Mind,” and turn it into Mozart playing a version of that tune.

“We want to mimic the human ability to hear music, and repeat it, either by whistling or playing an instrument,” says Lior Wolf, one of the co-authors of a new study describing the work. The AI isn’t reading musical notes—it’s just turning a given audio file into code and then decoding it into a new version. Read more from popsci.com…

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