Artificial intelligence has done some fantastic things, from creating original art to teaching an electric DeLorean how to drive around an obstacle course. However, these systems still lack some of the creativity we demonstrate as humans. Nothing illustrates this better than tasking AI to write Christmas songs for the holidays. A neural network was trained to recognize and dissect two hundred and forty Christmas classics to reproduce new ones. The results were less than spectacular.
Combining the Best Of Everything
The lyrics produced by the AI were decidedly different from what you’d expect from a Christmas carol. The AI’s thoughts on classic Christmas carol “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” started like this:
“Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, with its red belly
The All-gracious King of all the earth,
Had a baby at Christmas time, On Christmas Day,
A true and holy Deity, Went down to earth,
With human flesh for sacrifice…”
Not exactly filled with Christmas cheer. When the system was asked to compose a new carol, it seemed to think that writing about a yacht was pertinent. The commercialism of the holiday seemed to overshadow the meaning of the season. The researcher who experimented with creating these Christmas abominations, Janelle Shane, noted in her blog that she wasn’t really sure if the AI misunderstood Christmas or understood it far too well.
Experienced in Producing AI-Generated Products
Ms. Shane isn’t new to the world of AI-produced products; since last Christmas, she worked on a system to create names for Christmas cookies. Additionally, in non-holiday settings, she produced an AI that generated pickup lines. She has been working closely with neural networks that operate on the same model of learning as the human brain. The intent is that by feeding these networks the rules of a particular product along with a few pertinent examples, one can get the AI to reproduce those elements in its own work. The results so far have shown a lot of promise, but the AI’s ability to produce Christmas carols still needs a lot of work.