Google Doodle celebrating Bach with A.I. infuriates music theorists.

Thursday’s Google Doodle celebrated the 334th birthday of famed composer Johann Sebastian Bach, with a twist: It was the first Doodle to incorporate machine learning.

Google says in its “Behind the Doodle” video that it chose Bach’s music as the subject of the first A.I. Doodle because he had a characteristic style and composed with a set of musical rules in mind.

The results of the Google Doodle were also particularly grating to Bach specialists.

“I found the Doodle to be a bit of an odd tribute to Bach because the results bore so little resemblance to Bach’s style,” says Christopher Brody, a Bach scholar and music theorist at the University of Louisville.

“It would be hard to think of a single generally true fact about Bach’s idiom that the A.I. seems to have accurately observed and manages not to break almost constantly.” Christopher White, a music theorist who studies algorithmic and computational approaches to music at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, points out that a machine-learning algorithm like the one in the Doodle is generally composing off of hybrid rules it extrapolates in its own way, rather than the formalized concepts that humans study as the underpinnings of learning composition.

Skeptical academic music theorists had fun experimenting with trying to stump the Doodle’s algorithms by feeding in bizarre melodies from experimental 20th-century music.

The melody I fed to the Doodle was meant to be in the key of C major, but the Doodle produced a composition in A minor.

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How much of gaming will be left after Google Stadia?

Google didn’t announce a new gaming console this week, and executives from the company would tell you that’s the whole point.

You don’t have to worry about your gaming PC being fast enough, because Google will make sure you have all the power you need.

So many game designers and developers got their start because gaming used to be wide open for experimentation and creation once you purchased and installed a game.

How will a game be saved for future players, or even just for the historical record, when no one but Google has a copy of its code? Even if the developer were to release the code later, would anyone but Google be able to run it without the custom hardware that drives Stadia?

Platforms like Stadia ask us to give up even more control of our history than we have previously, and there’s no guarantee Google will care about the games released for the platform in five years, much less 50.

The entire video lays out the context of this test, and this is of course not the final word about how much of a problem latency will be for Stadia games, but it’s a sobering reminder that streaming can and will slow down response time.

The lack of cheating in multiplayer games and the ability to launch a game without a huge download are big advantages that Google and other streaming companies can bring to the table, but it’s hard to overestimate how much flexibility and even creativity we’ll lose in this sort of system.

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Google’s Stadia looks like an early beta of the future of gaming

“The future of gaming is not a box,” according to Google.

Instead, you’ll just need access to Google’s Chrome browser to instantly play games on a phone, tablet, PC, or TV. It’s a bold vision for where gaming is heading, and Google hopes its Stadia cloud streaming service will make it a reality.

Google may have just unveiled the future of gaming at the Game Developers Conference, but it’s a future the company has left us knowing very little about.

Google even unveiled its own Stadia Games and Entertainment studio to create Stadia-exclusive titles, but it didn’t mention any details on what games it will be building.

Google has omitted key details about Stadia In an interview with Kotaku, Google Stadia boss Phil Harrison says, “[W]e will be able to get to 4K but only raise that bandwidth to about 30 Mbps.” That means the average fixed broadband connection in the US, currently around 96 Mbps by some estimates, will be sufficient, but if you’re living in a state without broadband coverage or relying on rural internet speeds then you’ll be stuck waiting on the Federal Communications Commission to raise the minimum rural broadband speed standard to 25 Mbps. You’ll also need a connection without broadband caps because if you’re going to be playing games a lot, then it will soon eat into data limits.

All of this makes Stadia look like an early beta for what will be part of the future of gaming.

Google has some fierce competition, but it looks like this cloud gaming war is just getting started.

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