Opera might not be the easiest genre of music to understand or appreciate but that doesn’t mean you can’t make your own masterpieces with a troupe of talented blobs. Google’s latest toy, the AI Blob Opera, is exactly what it says on the tin, an online experiment that’s using AI to help users create some professional sounding operatic pieces by simply dragging their mouse.
It sounds like a gimmick (and for the most part it is) but it’s actually really cool! We at Stuff aren’t especially musically inclined but even we managed to crank out some decent tunes with our blob friends. Created by artist David Lee, the machine learning experiment was developed alongside professional singers Cristian Joel, Frederick Tong, Joanna Gamble and Olivia Doutney who all leant their voices to the various blobs.
The commitment these performers had to teaching these is genuinely impressive considering this whole thing is just an experiment (and a rather silly one at that). All four singers recorded 16 hours of their harmonic vocal cords to teach these cute little piles of playdough how to sing. All you need to do is alter and tweak their composition to see how the AI has learnt to match and deal with the different tunes thrown its direction. Not like you were doing much work today anyway, right?
Maybe the best part of the whole thing is that you can record and share your footage with friends and family. There’s a button that switches the choir to singing Christmas carols which you, unfortunately, won’t be able to control. Please, don’t be that person that sends silly Christmas videos over WhatsApp. If you’re going to do that, at least commit to making your own opera. It’s the least you can do for all those family members you haven’t seen since the world ended in March.
Also, this is going to be a deep cut of reference but does anyone else thing these things look eerily close to that Nickelodeon short Purple and Brown? Very weird indeed. Maybe it was those mischievous balls of clay of that downed Google’s services the other day…