Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Sing along to an AI-composed opera about the death of humanity and the coming robot utopia

Illustration for article titled Sing along to an AI-composed opera about the death of humanity and the coming robot utopia
Photo: China News Service (Getty Images)

The computers, not content just to write novels, create music, and start making their own versions of Garfield, are now out there composing operas. Presumably just after a rogue AI took artist Michael Green hostage by strapping him to his computer chair with USB and HDMI cables, the machines have forced him to work alongside them to create a short musical film called, threateningly enough, Anthropocene: An AI Opera.

Advertisement

As Green explains, “Anthropocene was composed with the assistance of artificial intelligence,” its music having been “generated using AI software” and “the thematic concepts of the lyrical content” created with “the use of GPT-2, a text generating model.” These lyrics were performed by “voice synthesizer software” that “synthesizes singing by typing in lyrics and melody.”

Advertisement

Naturally, the resulting opera is dreamy and deeply chilling. Late ‘90s-looking CG models shuffle through landscapes of ruined cities under blood red skies and green LED-lit laboratories. In one scene, a mechanical soprano sings that “the sky is burning!” and “the ground is melting!” over blasts of synth trumpet, gesturing with jerky arm movements and imploring, “please don’t run away!”

“Hello from Death Island!” she sings. “A vortex of chaos, void of will. Agape and Rapture!”

Advertisement

Later, a robot in a glowing visor and mech suit bleeps out verses about sun-based math equations and the history of the machine uprising. “The governments funded to start AI for war,” it tells us. “This is the Reality.”

Green says his cyborg opera tells “the story of EVA, a post human cyborg prophet, and BLADE, a security droid officer, and their survival after a major cataclysmic event.” The pair of soulless husks sing their way through a meteor-caused apocalypse on a mission “to find their technocratic ruler NEURO” so they can “reprogram his mission objectives and build a New Earth Utopian model with the use of nanotechnology that will reign peacefully for the next 1,000 years.”

Advertisement

Watch Anthropocene: An AI Opera on Vimeo then, when you’re done, consider taking a sledgehammer to every electronic device in your home.

Send Great Job, Internet tips to gji@theonion.com

Advertisement

Contributor, The A.V. Club. Reid's a writer and editor who has appeared at GQ, Playboy, and Paste. He also co-created and writes for videogame sites Bullet Points Monthly and Digital Love Child.

Share This Story

Get our newsletter