I had a lovely time in an AI-generated Björk hotel lobby soundscape

CNET | 1/17/2020 | Staff
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Björk's Microsoft AI-driven musical soundscape is in New York now.

Stepping into a hotel lobby on the Bowery, a few feet away from the New Museum in Manhattan, you can find yourself in a little space where Björk's music is playing. Lilting snippets of it, ambient, seemingly ongoing, random. I'm in that hotel lobby, listening. There's a pattern to the music. It's connected to a camera on the roof, gazing at moving clouds and birds. The composition is AI-driven. The best part is, it's invisible and it works. I stay and listen for an hour.

Björk - Ambient - Piece - Collaboration - Microsoft

Björk created a new AI-generated experimental ambient musical piece in collaboration with Microsoft, called Korsafn, for the Sister City hotel (a boutique offshoot of the Ace hotel group). It's the second ambient music piece here: Julianna Barwick created the hotel's previous ambient AI soundscape, also a Microsoft collaboration, last year. The new Björk music installation should remain through the end of this year.

Björk's Korsafn is a choral piece generated by algorithms that study patterns of clouds and birds from a rooftop camera, but will also evolve over time, becoming a data-collecting AI experiment for Microsoft as well. Since the installation is reflecting information from the sky, it's almost like an audio skylight, or a data-driven wind chime. The ongoing computer vision project will also train Microsoft's AI to better recognize dense and fluffy clouds, snow, rain, clear sky and birds in different lighting and seasons.

Week - CES - Las - Vegas - Moment

I'm still spiritually unwinding from a noise-blasted week of CES in Las Vegas, and this little moment with digital Björk was something I could have used out in the desert. Ryan Bukstein, Atelier Ace Hotel's vice president of Brand, says ambient AI-driven soundscapes like this could be a future model for hotels and other spaces, instead of repetitive playlists of familiar songs.

(Excerpt) Read more at: CNET
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