Machine sings 90s power ballads like a human (video)

25 Jul 2015

"What do machines sing of?" is a fully automated machine, which endlessly sings number-one ballads from the 1990s.

’80s and ’90s power ballads are constantly being murdered during karaoke nights by people using machines, so why not let actual machines have a go?

You know the score at karaoke bars, whether it’s Journey’s Don’t Stop Believing or Adele’s Someone Like You, despite the dodgy vocal ranges you cannot doubt the sincerity, passion and real feeling behind the performances.

In this fascinating art project by Martin Backes, a machine sings endless No 1 ballads from the ’90s using software he created that tries to apply human feeling and sentiment. It can belt out such numbers as Whitney Houston’s I Will Always Love You, Celine Dion’s My Heart Will Go On, Toni Braxton’s Unbreak My Heart and Bryan Adams’ Everything I Do, I Do It For You.

“As the computer program performs these emotionally-loaded songs, it attempts to apply the appropriate human sentiments,” explained Backes.

“This behaviour of the device seems to reflect a desire, on the part of the machine, to become sophisticated enough to have its very own personality.”

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John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years