Sunday May 08, 2016

This AI has killer dance moves

Dancers from the T Lang Dance Company perform in a geodesic dome. The LuminAI dances with them, learning and collaborating instead of just mimicking.

Dancers from the T Lang Dance Company perform in a geodesic dome. The LuminAI dances with them, learning and collaborating instead of just mimicking. (Georgia Tech)

Listen 13:11

Some people will say you should dance like there's nobody watching you. And that's just what computer scientists at Georgia Tech want you to do. Except that there is something watching you - LuminAIIt's a program that's trying to perfect what project co-lead Brian Magerko and his fellow researchers call "co-creative artificial intelligence."

The AI learns from you, and other partners, and then tries to match its moves to you in novel ways - not copying, but collaborating with you in a complementary and meaningful way.

So how does it work? A person dances inside a geodesic dome, projecting an avatar onto the wall of the dome. A projection of the AI then appears, and tries to dance with the other person the way two people on a dance floor might interact. ‚ÄčIt's not simply following instructions from a programmer. The idea behind LuminAI is that it learns to improvise by interacting with its human partners.

But the ambition of LuminAI goes much further as an AI technology. Brian has already created AIs that collaborate with people when writing and sketching, and believes it has a future helping students learn to create and improvise collaboratively.

He also wants to downplay the idea that AIs are big and scary machines like SkyNet in The Terminator movies. "They can just be fun," he says.

No word yet on what happens if you fall in love during Stairway to Heaven...