Thanks to Google’s Neural Nets, we now know what computers dream of when they sleep. Next question: what do they sing when they go out for karaoke? The answer is more horrifying than you could possibly imagine: Toni Braxton, Whitney Houston, and–ack!–Celine Dion.
“What Do Machines Sing Of?” is an automated machine by Berlin-based artist, designer, hacker and DJ Martin Backes. It’s a custom-designed computer that stands in front of a karaoke mic, endlessly crooning a drunken, MIDI rendition of ’90s hits.
Programmed using SuperCollider, “a programming language for real time audio synthesis and algorithmic composition,” the machine can sing Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You”, R. Kelly’s “I Believe I Can Fly”, Toni Braxton’s “Un-Break My Heart”, Bryan Adams’ “Everything I Do, I Do It For You”, and Celine Dion’s “My Heart Will Go On.” In other words, the kind of songs that would get you the hook at 2:30 a.m. in even the seediest Chinatown karaoke bars.
At the very least, though, it’s got a wider repertoire than most people who visit karaoke bars. I’m looking at you, Mr. “It’s Raining Men” five times in a row.