Imaginary Soundscape — Take a walk in soundscapes “imagined” by AI

Nao Tokui (Qosmo)
Jan 1, 2018 · 5 min read
Imaginary Soundscape —

This is a blog post on my latest project, Imaginary Soundscape, presented at NIPS 2017 workshop, Machine Learning for Creativity and Design. 日本語の記事はこちら.

“Imaginary Soundscape” is a web-based sound installation, where viewers can freely walk around Google Street View and immerse themselves into the artificial soundscape “imagined” by our deep learning models. (I know imagine is not scientifically correct to describe the process. That’s why I double quoted it.)

Denver International Airport, 2002.
Ambisonics 360 mic 2015

“A soundscape is any collection of sounds, almost like a painting is a collection of visual attractions. When you listen carefully to the soundscape it becomes quite miraculous.”

R. Murray Schafer.

left: input image / right: images picked by AI

By taking a glance at a photo, we can imagine sounds we might hear if we were there. Can AI do the same?

Many researchers around the world have been working on Cross-modal information retrieval, such as image-to-audio, sound-to-image, sound-to-text, using Deep Learning. We have introduced some of these researches on our website, Japanese). Our implementation of this project was based on research done by researchers at MIT.

SoundNet: Learning Sound Representations from Unlabeled Video

Short demo video of Imaginary Soundscape website

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