EXCLUSIVE | 'Artificial': LifeScore's Tom Gruber hints at possibility of music 'adapting to human signals'

EXCLUSIVE | 'Artificial': LifeScore's Tom Gruber hints at possibility of music 'adapting to human signals'
Tom Gruber (YouTube/TED)

'Artificial: Remote Intelligence', Season 3 of Twitch's 'Artificial', has introduced a lot of innovations, the most exciting of which is LifeScore, a music composition tool that creates a dynamic score for the show based on the audience's reaction in the chat section. It's a cutting-edge new technology with myriad applications and we caught up with LifeScore and Siri co-founder Tom Gruber to talk about potential future applications. One area where LifeScore could have a lot of applications is in video games, especially online multiplayer games. Speaking to MEA WorldWide (MEAWW) in an exclusive interview, Gruber agreed that that is an area of interest but also went on to reveal that there are a lot more potential applications for this technology.

"We've had a lot of interest in that," he said. "Yes, I think it definitely can play a role in any kind of environment that's being created dynamically, like a video game really benefits from this. So, we've got a lot of interest in that. We've also got other kinds of interesting environments where the nature of the experience itself is dynamic. Like when you're driving a car or something like that, where you're on a journey of some kind already and it's dynamic. He added, "Also, I think there are cases where the environment isn't moving too fast, but the human physiology might be so you want to be able to get people into a certain state when they're exercising or when they're relaxing, things like that."

As of now, LifeScore is still a very new piece of technology and we are yet to fully explore all that it can achieve. Gruber compares the current era of technology to the early days of biofeedback technology, something that's almost universally used now for medical purposes. "It's early days to say exactly how this thing works, but we're opening up the possibility to have music adapt to any human signals," Gruber explained. "The fun state we're in is essentially, we're just beginning to learn from the human data, from the data of how humans respond. It's kind of like the early days of biofeedback where we had these ideas that maybe if you give people feedback about their heart rate or something that you could help them." 

"Well, it turns out that the scientists learned over time what kinds of biofeedback signals in what form gave the best results," he continued. "So I think we're in that stage now with AI and music and this whole idea of collective emotion. We're going to learn what kind of feedback mechanisms create what kinds of effects." LifeScore is the brainchild of composer Philip Sheppard, who has composed for Twitch in the past and according to Gruber, the LifeScore team has had a pretty friendly relationship with the live-streaming platform, which is one of the factors that led to LifeScore being integrated into 'Artificial'. "Twitch is interesting because especially now in the case of a pandemic, we're all kind of in a world where we're trying to stream ourselves into the rest of the world," Gruber said. "And so we also thought, 'Well, this is a good time to do something with Twitch.'"

You can catch LifeScore in action during the live-stream of 'Artificial: Remote Intelligence', streaming every Thursday at 6 pm ET/ 9 pm PT on Twitch.

(To lend an easy-to-read experience for our readers, the original interview has been split into multiple stories. Stay with us as we update our site with more of Tom Gruber's valuable insights on 'Artificial', AI rights, and the dangers we could face from advanced AIs in the not-so-distant future.)

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