On May 5th, 2016 we learned about

Virtual dancer can collaborate with human choreography

A computer is learning to dance The Robot better than you. Actually, if you’re good at the Robot, the Worm, or maybe the Cabbage Patch, the virtual artificial intelligence called LuminAI would actually like to watch and learn from you. After that, you can partner up in an improvised, collaborative light-show performance in a special geodesic dome. Which beats any of the dance clubs in my neighborhood.

The core of this project from Georgia Tech are to figure out how a machine can observe, learn and try to predict complex human behaviors. The system relies on Microsoft Kinect cameras, which can help track which parts of the humans’ bodies are doing what. From there, the system tries to learn patterns and respond with matching or complementary patterns. At this point, there’s not actual robot performing the Robot alongside human dancers, so the performance is handled two-dimensionaly. Outlines of the human dancers are projected on the side of the dance space next to a virtual dancer created by LuminAI. Since the humans can see this projection while they dance, they can react to their virtual partner’s moves just as it reacts to theirs, making for interesting feedback loops.

AI apprentice

To help LuminAI build on its repertoire, the computer can actually save what it’s learned from previous dance sessions. With each new partner, it can draw on a richer data set of choreography, reacting to new movements with more speed and subtly. With enough training sessions, it should be able to get a sense of what preferred movements look like, since otherwise a few sessions with bad dancers would teach it to dance like a dud instead of a pro.

Beyond the novelty of these performances, the LuminAI team is interested in how humans will interact with artificial intelligence in the future. Virtual partners are likely to become more and more common in our lives, and helping those partners learn desirable behavior will be key to making these experiences successful.

Source: Forget Taking Over the World. All this AI Wants to Do Is Dance by Laura Geggel, Live Science

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