This singing, song-writing robot just released its own album

Shimon is a singing, song-writing robot that uses deep learning to make music and is about to go on tour to promote his first album.

With the advancements in artificial intelligence, automation and robotics, it won't be long before robots actually replace humans to carry out manual tasks with robot waiters and self-driving cars. Now, it seems that even creative artists are at risk of losing their jobs to these machines. Meet Shimon, a robot who can write songs, play music, dance and also sing but above all, he is also ready with his very first music album.

Shimon's going on tour with first album

Shimon, designed by researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology, first made its debut in 2017. However, at the time he was only capable of playing the marimba and used deep learning to grind out compositions.

Shimon the robot
Georgia Tech / YouTube

Now, the musical maestro has become more versatile and can even sing, dance, write lyrics and is about to on tour to promote his very first album. We heard Shimon's first single, "Into Your Mind," and we have to admit that it's a catchy tune. You can listen to the track below:

Georgia Tech Center for Music Technology / YouTube

Soon, Shimon is going on tour to promote his new album that he has composed and sung. The album comprises of eight to ten songs, and the songs have been written in collaboration with humans. The human contribution includes giving the robot a theme, like space, and Shimon then writes lyrics based on it.

How does Shimon make music?

Shimon learns his art the same way other robots do, by being fed a treasure trove of existing human samples. For instance, In the case of the above single, it was about 50,000 lyrics from jazz, progressive rock and hip-hop genres of music. Using this information, Shimon then puts together his own lyrics within the rules that have been set.

The deep learning is combined with semantic knowledge as the songs require rhyme and rhythm as well. The voice Shimon uses to belt out the song is created at Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona, where they used machine learning to develop the voice after training on hundreds of songs.

Although the robot can compose its own melodies, for the most part, the compositions are the put together by Shimon's creators. The team explains how Shimon works in the video below:

Georgia Tech / YouTube