The Machine Learning Algorithm as Creative Musical Tool

Fiebrink, Rebecca and Caramiaux, Baptiste. 2018. The Machine Learning Algorithm as Creative Musical Tool. In: Roger T. Dean and Alex McLean, eds. The Oxford Handbook of Algorithmic Music. Oxford University Press, pp. 181-208. ISBN 9780190226992 [Book Section]

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Abstract or Description

Machine learning is the capacity of a computational system to learn structures from datasets in order to make prediction in front of newly seen datasets. Such approach offers a significant advantage in music scenarios in which musicians can teach the system to learn an idiosyncratic style, or can break the rules to explore the system capacity in unexpected ways. In this chapter we draw on music, machine learning, and human-computer interaction to elucidate an understanding of machine learning algorithms as creative tools for music and the sonic arts. We motivate a new understanding of learning algorithms as human-computer interfaces. We show that, like other interfaces, learning algorithms can be characterised by the ways their affordances intersect with goals of human users. We also argue that the nature of interaction between users and algorithms impacts the usability and usefulness of those algorithms in profound ways. This human-centred view of machine learning motivates our concluding discussion of what it means to employ machine learning as a creative tool.

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Book Section

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Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Computing > Embodied AudioVisual Interaction Group (EAVI)


22 March 2018Published

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Date Deposited:

11 Apr 2018 12:38

Last Modified:

29 Apr 2020 16:44


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