On the Radio

Week of January 15, 2017

Machines

Artificial Creativity

January 15, 2017

Computer scientists are closing in on the next frontier in artificial intelligence — machines that can create. But don’t throw away your paintbrush yet.

Producer(s): 
  1. Machine Music Theory 101

    Doug Eck directs Google’s new “Magenta” project, an experiment in teaching machines to make art, leveraging advances in machine learning like neural networks to enable computers to do things like compose music.

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  2. Cracking the “Bestseller Code”

    An algorithm might not be able to spit out a chart-topping song —at least not yet—but it might be able to help you write a best-selling novel.

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  3. My Robot Could Paint That

    When a computer program fixes a writer’s novel, or improvises a few bars of music, is that real creativity? Are they not just doing what they were programmed to do? Blaise Agüera y Arcas would wholeheartedly disagree.

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  4. Creative Differences with Android Lloyd Webber

    Could a computer write the next West Side Story or Hamilton? That’s what composers Benjamin Till and Nathan Taylor tried to figure out—the result is a musical called “Beyond the Fence.”

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  5. Nothing Left To Do But Write Songs

    While pregnant with her first child, Amanda Shires was playing fiddle on the road for her husband, the country superstar, Jason Isbell. Near the end of her pregnancy, touring got to be too much. So she stayed home, alone, for weeks… with nothing to do but write songs. The result is her new album called “My Piece of Land.” 

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Tom Morello

Protest Music

January 15, 2017
(was 03.06.2016)

Music and social change go hand in hand. We explore the secret history of protest music. Songs and social movements you might have missed -- from the early days of rock and roll to the non-violent hip hop message of FM Supreme.

  1. The Soundtracks of the Vietnam War

    Vietnam was the last American war that had a collective soundtrack, but some of its songs may surprise you. We talk with Doug Bradley and Craig Werner about "We Gotta Get Out of this Place," a collection of interviews with Vietnam vets about the music that shaped their war experience.

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  2. Blind Alfred Reed's Early Protest Song

    Music historian Henry Sapoznik tells the story of Blind Alfred Reed and one of the early American protest songs.

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  3. Sam Phillips: In Search of Revolutionary Music

    Music writer Peter Guralnick tells us how the legendary Sam Phillips created rock and roll as a musical protest.

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  4. Industrial Music: The Ultimate Protest Music?

    S. Alexander Reed gives us a crash course on what may be the ultimate protest music -- industrial music.

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  5. FM Supreme, Humanitarian Rap Artist

    Jessica Disu (FM Supreme) talks about using hiphop as a positive force to deliver messages of peace and non-violence.

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