Twitter to help create realistic birdsong soundscape

Brasilia, March 30 (IANS) Using a genetic algorithm, scientists in Brazil have created a realistic soundscape of birdsong that can be triggered by updates from the micro-blogging service Twitter.

The team developed an evolutionary, or genetic, algorithm that synthesises authentic sounding birdsong in the computer.

The system could also be used to manipulate the acoustic space of a shopping mall to create a realistic soundscape fed by actual twitter updates.

“This evolutionary algorithm creates an artificial soundscape (of birdsongs) that is always acoustically original,” said Jose Fornari from University of Campinas (UNICAMP) in Sao Paulo.

The birdsong is like an individual in a population that will never be repeated again.

Such soundscapes might also be said to represent a unique, crowd-generated audio-artwork.

Given the nature of Twitter activity, which inevitably follows the highs and lows of daily life and the trends of news and popular culture, the soundscapes generated might offer a fascinating acoustic reflection of our world and at times a chaotic cacophony.

“One could also imagine linking the system to a single user’s account and giving them a personal experience in birdsong of the tweets from their friends and contacts,” the authors noted.

The details about the computer model that mimics the behaviour of a bird’s songbox — its “syrinx” — to create realistic sounds were published in International Journal of Arts and Technology.

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