Posts Tagged ‘vocaloids’

Considering Non Human Intelligence

June 6, 2010

It hasn’t really come up in any of my tlan, but I am in support of Artificial Intelligence.  I have no problem with the idea of another species that is smarter or better than us or at least different than we are.  At this point A.I. is merely a thought experiment and not very actualizable, but there are still many who oppose the idea.  They think that an A.I. would use it’s superior intelligence to enslave or destroy humanity.  The thought of this non human intelligence brings them fear and dread.  Setting aside the fact that most likely an A.I. would be either incapable of such a feat or have no motivation to do so, I really don’t think that is such a bad thing.  I certainly don’t support the eradication of the human race or slavery in general, but if some being smarter than we are comes to the conclusion that we need to go and has enough cunning and resourcefulness to succeed who am I to argue?  Of course the human race wouldn’t take this lying down and might rise up to meet the threat.  If so than the A.I. wasn’t really smart enough to defeat us.  This all sounds super darwinist, the survival of the fittest and all, but in most things I really don’t feel that way.  In this case however, I think that the creation of a new thinking species is more profound and important than our possible demise at it’s hands (or laser guns).  The chance that it won’t destroy us all and may end up forging a partnership with humanity is far more important than any consequence.  Fear of the possibilities that new technology or creations bring is never a reason to abandon learning something new.   What brought on this line of thinking was a debate I found while surfing the net concerning so called vocaloids.  Vocaloids are programs that  simulate human singing.  If you know how you can get one of these programs to sing whatever song you want with perfect pitch and rhythm.  Now,  the debate was over whether the vocaloids were something to be rejoiced or hated.  My position on this is obvious considering my previous statements, but the argument was interesting regardless.  First of all, many felt that no matter how good the computer programs got, they could never sound like a real human.  The current models are good, but you can always tell they aren’t human.  Some felt that the voice was too complicated to be synthesized by computer while others felt that a computer could never put the “soul” into a song that a human performer could.  Others were all to certain that the computers would eventually replace human performers and lead to the end of singing as a viable career.  Meanwhile, others were praising the fact that people without much singing talent and little money could now create there own songs and have them sung to perfection.  All four of these ideas are interesting in and of themselves, but it was the third one that led to my above musings about A.I. and it’s ramifications.  Just as I think that A.I.’s should be given the chance to live, so too do I think that the possibility of computers singing as well as humans should be taken as far as it can.  I understand that the idea of being replaced or surpassed by a machine is a scary one, but it is really no more scary than the idea of being replaced by another human with a great amount of talent.  This fear can be a powerful motivator and if the singing robots begin to top the charts I expect not only a wonderful performance from these iron idols, but an increasingly interesting and powerful performance from the human musicians fighting to keep there positions as the best singers there are.