In one of the creepiest-looking things I’ve seen since The Grudge, Professor Chyi-Yeu Lin and his colleagues at National Taiwan University of Science and Technology have created an android-like head capable of reading, “memorizing,” and singing back music in Mandarin. In a process that takes around 40 seconds, the robot takes a picture of simplified notation with cameras in its eyes, scans it over, and then sings it back in what seems to be a semi-realistic human voice. Check out this video and try not to scream.
The hope is, apparently, to try and engineer these stealers of souls to be robot receptionists at restaurants. All I know is that I look forward to a future when a kid I’m teaching to read music whines for me to play the piece for him so he can cheat his way through learning it and I can say, “I won’t play it, but I bet scary disembodied head lady will if you ask her nicely.” And then he reads the music like a good little music student.