What if your digital assistant could battle rap? That may sound far-fetched, but Gil Weinberg, a music technologist at the Georgia Institute of Technology, has adapted a musical robot called Shimon to compose lyrics and perform in real time. That means it can engage in rap “conversations” with humans, and maybe even help them compose their own lyrics. Shimon, which was intentionally designed to sound machinelike, is meant to be a one-of-a-kind musical collaborator—or an inhuman rap-battle opponent.
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