Deliberately Disorienting Design: Using the Scientifically Sound Principles of Experimental Psychology to Create a Confusing Musical Instrument
Pint of Science at Incendiary Brewing, Winston-Salem, NC May 22, 2019
As we strive to optimize every aspect of our lives, we surrender ourselves to learning machines that attend to every intimate detail about us to make decisions for us. In world of artificial intelligence guided by always-on precision ultraomnipotence, is there still a place for spontaneity and serendipity?
We can code a musical instrument that automatically generates an infinite array of pleasing melodies with acceptable harmonies. We can autogenerate variations on rhythms and timbres found in the music human beings have written and recorded in the past. But will such a machine ever produce anything more than a mildly amusing mutant clone of a clone, a shadow of a shadow of music?
What if, instead, we build a musical instrument so clumsy that it forces us to abandon our quest for perfection and rely only on inspiration and ingenuity? In this talk, we will discuss how to use the science of the human mind to create musical instruments that have the power to confuse and delight us.