Monday 23 May 2016 10:00 am

Can AI be creative? Google wants to find out

First they came for the manual tasks, now they're eyeing up the careers of musicians, art directors and other creative types – will robots and artificial intelligence leave any jobs for us humans?

Google's latest project, Magenta, will explore the possibility of machines learning creativity, leaving anyone thinking the rise of the robots would give us all time for more creative pursuits pause for thought. 

"Can machines make music and art? If so, how? If not, why not?” is the question on the brain on of Douglas Eck, a research scientist working on project Magenta.

Read more: Here's how your brain works on the Tube (and what it can teach AI)

Speaking at a panel at music and technology festival Moogfest in the US on Sunday, Eck explained the inspiration came from Google's previous DeepDream project, PopSci reports. That project demonstrated how Google's image recognition neural networks can create art based on famous works.

Magenta will go a step further, looking at how AI can create music, video and other visual media. Eck told PopSci that the project will use Google's opensource AI platform TensorFlow and that the research itself will be made available too. Eck also indicated that the project could potentially produce an app 

A more official launch of the project is expected in June.

Google is unlikely to give Adele a run for her money at the top of the charts quite yet, Eck said according to Quartz. He did however give an example of a more imminent application – if a wearable device indicates a heightened heart rate, the AI could play appropriately soothing music via a smartphone.