Earworm vs Code

I was just listening to DJ Earworm’s United State of Pop 2012 (yes, again) and in a moment of awe and appreciation, thought to myself “a computer is never going to be able to figure this out”. That’s sweet and sentimental, but it’s probably wrong.

Whatever process Earworm used to compose this piece, it probably involved listening to these songs repeatedly throughout the year. I imagine him sitting at his computer, wearing huge headphones, and just soaking in the music until pieces of the song came to him and he built upon them to competition. That sentence should sufficiently display my near total ignorance of the music making process for our purposes. But no matter his actual process, what he did was an amazing feat of pattern recognition and synthesis that computers and software just can’t do with songs.

Nevertheless, the same general process of pattern recognition and synthesis is involved in the creation of photographic mosaics, especially those patented Photomosaics of Robert Silver. Recognize the patterns of shapes and colors within individual photos and synthesis them into a larger image. Earworm does just that, but with words and pieces of music. With enough time and effort, code could accomplish the same task. Until then, we get to enjoy human craftsmanship.

Comments are closed.