Article | December 23, 2020
Imagination, creativity, and ambition are what brought us here to this modern high-tech age that we live in today. These characteristics are the reason behind mankind’s innovative creations that started from inventing the wheel in the stone ages, to the development of the first car in 1885.
“Every generation needs a new revolution”
For science, the sky’s the limit when it comes to new creations and inventions that serve mankind in their daily life tasks, or just to entertain. Whether it’s a smartphone that keeps you connected with people, a cleaning robot that keeps your floor shiny and spotless, or even a cup holder that just holds your drink inside your car. As time passes, we notice how technology and science prosper to bring new tools and gadgets to the world to facilitate human tasks. It’s all thanks to humans’ ability to imagine and create.
Now, we have reached a point where Artificial Intelligence has been introduced and is helping us do tasks much easier and faster. This remarkable technology has the ability to do what humans can in a more efficient way. It doesn’t have emotions like us but it sure can think and act like it. Therefore, as you think about it, is it possible for them to reach that point of creating, as humans have?
What Is AI Technology?
Artificial intelligent technology (also known as AI) is the process in which robots and machines, created by man, are able to solve problems, complete motor-related tasks, and think like humans by just learning from the experiences they approach. By using the method of deep learning, machine learning, and natural language processing, robots can process all the data we give them in an algorithmic manner. By doing so, they determine certain patterns and features to produce the ability to act and think like humans.
Although for some scientists and researchers, the definition of AI technology can go beyond the description I just provided you. Moreover, it’s known as robots that think like humans. You can notice all the amazing inventions originated by using AI like self-parking cars, voice-activated lights, and much more. Although does it stop there? Can more come from AI technology rather than just providing help around the house? Or when giving directions on a built-in GPS?
What I want to get at is…
Can AI Technology Create and Write Music?
It has been known across history and for generations that creating an artistic masterpiece requires passion, dedication, and emotions to bring forth a spectacular piece of art.
Great artistic minds like Da Vinci, were able to paint what to be considered today as one of the iconic paintings that symbolize art, known as the Mona Lisa painting. Another poetic artistic mind like Bach was able to create extraordinary and moving pieces of music that set new standards for musicians back in the 18th century. It is because of humans’ ability to imagine and their willingness to express their emotions through art, that they were able to originate outstanding masterpieces.
Although making music, for instance, does require that sense of passion and emotion to generate it. It still relies on basic rules, patterns, and fundamentals that are very important to know, and acquire, to make or write music from scratch. You see, any piece of music is made up of musical notes, certain chords, and a rhythmic bassline. These musical elements create what we call a melody in a song or just a full song. You can’t apply any chord to any bassline without referring to the rules of music first, because making music is all about assembling all of those key factors in a musical pattern. While following the rules at the same time. Of course, some musicians bypass those rules and still are able to create great songs. Even so, that’s just a different story from what I’m trying to explain.
Emotions in Music
When listening to any type of song, you can instantly tell if it’s a sad, happy, motivating, or horrifying song just from the lyrics. The instrumental melody in the background plays a huge factor in determining the mood of the song. Some chords are considered to provide a happy and uplifting feeling when played. Other musical notes and patterns generate that sense of sadness. Music Theory has assigned certain feelings to certain chords. So, when writing a happy or sad song you can easily pick which chord to use for the certain feeling you want to express in your musical piece. Some instruments used in songs are also related to specific feelings as well. That’s how the genre of music is determined most of the time.
Since making and writing music is mostly about knowing the rules and choosing which chord to go with which note. Then it’s possible to create a song relying only on the fundamentals of Music Theory. Also, if we consider these chords and notes as patterns and data, can’t it be implemented and processed by AI technology?
AI Technology Seen Today
A lot of modern age gadgets have been introduced to the market that uses AI technology to serve our wants and needs. Even music tech. Musical gadgets have been invented like automatic tuners that can tune your guitar hands-free, metronome watches, portable guitars, and many more. What’s truly fascinating is the implementation of this technology into next-level music inventions.
You might not know this but AI technology has been implemented on most of the music platforms you use today. Platforms like Pandora, Spotify, Amazon Music, and others use mathematical algorithms in their operating system that enable them to predict and suggest songs that might seem appealing to you. It’s all according to the thumbs-up feedback you provide for each song you listen to. It’s also associated with the constant clicks and searches you conduct for certain types of artists and songs.
It’s simply remarkable how these music platforms are able to provide the user with song suggestions and playlists that suit their music taste. This is all possible through AI technology’s ability to process the patterns in the music being played, the tempo, and the instruments used. With that data processed, it can predict the next song that will meet the user’s desire. Since AI can identify the type of music being played, then it’s safe to say that there’s a possibility it can write music as well. Actually, it already has.
Music Platforms That Create Music
Throughout history, many great musical artists have used technology and machines to make writing music an easier task. While for some it was just a source of inspiration. AI technology had been used by musicians for a long time to assist them in originating their masterpieces. Alan Turing, the godfather of computer science, built a machine in 1951 that generated three simple melodies. David Bowie used the lyric randomizer in the ’90s for inspiration. In addition, a music theory professor was able to create a computer program that was able to write new music in the style of Bach. These few examples make it clear that AI was able to assist artists in their music careers.
After a few thorough tests and analyses, AI has become a part of the songwriting process. The research has led to the development of songwriting platforms like Watson Beat, Amper, and Google Magenta NSynth Super. These platforms use the essence of AI in deep learning by processing the data given. They search for patterns in the styles, chords, and other musical elements between songs to produce new material in the end.
Songwriting platforms, like Amper, allow anyone without the musical knowledge or experience to create a full song instantly. The process is quite easy. All you have to do is pick a genre, mood, and tempo while Amper takes care of the rest. This program has been used to create music for podcasts, commercials, and videos for companies. Still, it hasn’t been able to produce a hit song that will reach the top spot in the music billboards. My guess is because it lacks passion and emotion when creating a song.
Will AI Technology Take Over the Music Industry?
While a lot believe that someday AI Technology is going to backfire on us and take over our jobs. Some say that if they do take over everything then more jobs will emerge from it in the process. It’s a conflicting discussion.
What has been made clear though, is that today’s modern age technology has been able to create and write music just like humans can. It’s faster and efficient. Even though it might seem that AI will take over the music industry. It still doesn’t have that emotional side of making music. Furthermore, it’s been proven that even music writing platforms, like Amper, don’t have the ability to create a hit number one song. Or one that will catch the attention of millions. Although they can create music for marketing, promotional, and commercial purposes easily.
In conclusion, Artificial Intelligence is truly a mind-blowing invention. Having it helps us with our everyday life tasks and daily routines. Nevertheless, making it write music is also remarkable and sets high standards for technology nowadays. We don’t know what technology has installed for us but it’s no doubt making the world a better place.
Article | July 19, 2021
Storytelling is an art. It brings out the best of the teller and the listener. For centuries storytelling has been proved to be a successful way to reach out to the masses. However, a myth about storytelling is that it is considered only as a subject of literature. Well, we are here to break this myth.
The art of telling a story belongs to every field. Be it literature or science, electronics or computers, every field has its own story, even astronomy. Likewise, every little particle has a story to tell.
There is a story in every line of code written by software developers. The user tells a story, and the software developer writes it in a computer code language. Read further to understand more about storytelling in software development.
The Art of Storytelling in Software Development
When a user comes across a problem that needs to be simplified digitally, he explains the problem to the developer or salesperson.
For example, a shopkeeper needs to digitalize his inventory; he will talk about the problems he is facing while manually managing the inventory. This manual management could be handwritten or a basic excel sheet.
Now, when he tells his issue, he says that “I need software that easily tells me about the things I have in my inventory, goods that are to be stocked and also the goods that have and do not have demand.”
When the shopkeeper elaborates his problem and tells them in a story-like manner, the concerned person understands it better. Now imagine if they would say that, “I need software to know about the goods in the inventory.” Unfortunately, this simple sentence does not convey what exactly they are looking for. As a result, the salesperson would not be able to give them appropriate solutions.
Once the story behind the work is understood, the entire team puts in the effort and comes up with perfect solutions. From coding to the visuals of the software, everything works in synchronization. Thus, the story behind the work is of great importance.
Storytelling in software development has a structure. It has a beginning, middle part, climax, end, visuals, and imagination. The only difference in the storytelling tool is that it is known as understanding the need of the user (beginning), designing the solution (middle part), CTAs and ways to reach the target audience (climax), visually appealing and adequately working software delivery (end).
The success of storytelling in software development depends on how well the developer connects with the user’s problem. Once the entire team is on the same page, emotionally and practically, they deliver the most reliable solutions.
The Process of Storytelling in Software Development
Storyteller software is a tool that listens to the thoughts and ideas of the customer, understands their audience, and then transforms them into concrete solutions. Storytelling software uses the following steps.
● Understanding the user story
● Implementation of the story
Understanding the Story
As described earlier, understanding the story is learning the background of why the solution is being developed. Once the digital storytelling software is understood, the implementation of the solution becomes more apparent.
When the user tells his problem, there is always a story in it. When this story is told to the team, they give a set of solutions to the user. It is like giving them the menu to select the dish they like to be served.
Once they select the dish, it becomes an easy job to make it. But you need to ask the user why he is selecting the particular solution. Because the ‘why’ will answer almost every question that is needed to design the appropriate solution.
Implementation of the Story
The implementation of the story is the ‘show, don’t tell’ part. You need to display the solution on the screen for the user to understand. The user does not know the coding language, but he will understand that if I click this, this happens. And that understanding for the user is the implementation of the story.
We can also say that the implementation of the story is the architecture of the software. A well-built architecture will convey the story to the users. For example, when HRIS software is developed, the HR departments will know that the story behind the development was to ease out their tasks. These tasks could be anything from attendance to salary management.
Always remember, only a well-understood story can be implemented most dependably.
The conclusion of the story is the delivery and installation of the visual storytelling software. The user should be able to find all the answers to his problems in the best possible way. Their story that started with ‘once upon a time’ should end happily ever after’. And this is possible only when the entire team is connected emotionally and practically while working towards the solution.
The conclusion should also convey the climax of the story. The climax implies the CTAs or the final work that the software does after getting the desired data.
Only after you have reached a conclusion and the user is satisfied you will know that you have written an excellent story. This good story is the incredible software you built by gathering the plot, characters, problems, and other raw material from the user!
Benefits of Storytelling in Software Development
We know the process of storytelling in software development, but what do we gain from it? You must be thinking, can’t we listen to the demands, design a solution, and give the user what he wants? So, what is the need to understand the story behind the software?
Well, software delivered without understanding the story is merely a puzzle created. In the future, the software would not be able to answer the most important question -WHY? And that could prove that the software is a failure.
Here are some benefits of storytelling in software development.
● Straightforward Approach
Instead of beating around the bush or designing complicated solutions you will deliver the solutions in simpler steps. And this is because you have well understood the story behind creating the software.
● Understand the Big Picture
The user's story will let you understand what outcomes or expectations the user has from the software. The vision of the user and their expectations from the product can be understood only when the whole team has clarity on what and why they are working.
● Emotional Attachment
When software is developed practically and empathetically, the user also connects well with the software. People have to be given an emotion to get clicks on CTAs or use the software.
A survey was taken wherein people had to donate to a cause. As a result, two types of causes were created. One group was asked to donate food for an underdeveloped country, and the other group was asked to donate for a hungry child. The second group donated more, and many of them stated why they felt emotionally connected to the child.
Thus, the emotional connection of the team to design software is essential.
● Give Better Outcomes
Stories assure better results and excellent outcomes. They make sure that the team works best and the customers are motivated to take action. The story behind the software helps build the software in precisely the way it is asked for.
Thus, You Need to Tell a Story
Building a great story and connecting it with the user’s pain points is the best way to develop a creative solution. This helps paint a picture in the team's minds as to what is being built and why.
Storytelling in software development is essential as each software should convey an incredible story.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is storytelling in software development?
Storytelling in software development understands the story as a tool to design the software more accurately. The thoughts and requirements of the user are used as raw materials and utilized to create an efficient solution.
The story also helps in understanding the audience for whom the software is being developed.
What is the importance of storytelling in software?
Stories create better solutions and excellent outcomes. They motivate the audience to react in a certain way. They connect with the user and the audience on an emotional level. They are impactful and even let developers learn a lot.
They help create better software by keeping the team connected through the story.
What are the software storytelling tools?
Software storytelling tools are the elements that help implement the solution most productively. These are the user's point of view, emotionally connect, purpose, and the answers to the questions- what and why.
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The story also helps in understanding the audience for whom the software is being developed."
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"text": "Software storytelling tools are the elements that help implement the solution most productively. These are the user's point of view, emotionally connect, purpose, and the answers to the questions- what and why."
Article | March 25, 2020
In the wake of the coronavirus crisis, lockdowns and social distancing are accelerating the adoption of e-commerce, online learning, remote work, and online entertainment. And since online platforms and marketplaces generate so much data and rely so heavily on artificial intelligence (AI), their growth will only expand the AI gold rush. Already, global e-commerce sales have grown more than 20% per year each of the past three years. The number of students taking at least one course online has grown by almost two percentage points per year. And the percentage of Americans who sometimes telework has grown by one percentage point per year.
Article | March 3, 2020
Ericsson (NASDAQ: ERIC) has been selected by Japanese communications service provider NTT DOCOMO as its AI-based optimization solution vendor for its nationwide radio access network (RAN). The companies have been collaborating on introducing new solutions for decades, recently focusing on 5G proof of concept activities. The AI-based Performance Diagnostic solution for RAN optimization is one such effort and result of this collaboration. Leveraging on Ericsson’s global knowledge and experience, and collaborating with NTT DOCOMO’s network optimization expertise, the AI-based Performance Diagnostic solution will apply innovative machine learning and complex problem-solving techniques to classify cell performance issues and recommend changes.