Can you tell the difference between big band and boogie woogie? An algorithm can. Product design and development firm Cambridge Consultants says it's created a machine learning AI that can identify different musical styles better than humans. It's basically Jack Black in High Fidelity without the douchey elitism.
Researchers tested the AI by having a pianist play a variety of music -- baroque, classical, ragtime and jazz -- in a live demonstration. The AI then assessed the likely genre in real time, vastly outperforming conventional software hand-coded by humans.
"I think the deep learning system performs better because it's had a dispassionate look at quite a lot of audio material," says Monty Barlow, director of Machine Learning at Cambridge Consultants. "It's found the best way to detect one genre from another without any prejudice or bias. It's strangely more human-like in its capabilities than our programmers were in the classical engineering approach."
Cambridge Consultants says its algorithm could lead to more sophisticated methods of organizing and searching music databases. But, it could also be an important advancement in the medical industry too. It could potentially be used to quickly evaluate a patient's health using sensor waveforms (although Cambridge Consultants hasn't exactly said how this will work). And it's not the only recent machine learning-driven medical breakthrough. Last month, researchers at the University of Nottingham in the UK developed an algorithm that can predict your chances of having a heart attack or stroke with over 70 percent accuracy. In the future, all of our doctors are going to be AI music snobs.