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Can machines create?

Artists and musicians beware—AI has got much further than you might think

By Philip Ball   April 2019

Do androids dream of electric beats? Photo: Prospect composite

In 2012, Iamus released a CD of classical music performed by the London Symphony Orchestra. Music critic Tom Service was somewhat dismissive, calling Iamus’s composition Hello World! “so unmemorable, and the way it’s elaborated so workaday, that the piece leaves no distinctive impression.”

But it wasn’t a bad debut really—when you consider that Iamus is not a composer but a computer algorithm, developed by researchers at the University of Málaga in Spain.

Marcus du Sautoy, mathematician and…

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