Google Street View Now Has A Soundtrack, Thanks To AI

beSpacific 2018-01-10

fastcodesign: “Google Street View has never felt so enchanting. In New York’s Botanical Garden, children shout and play in the distance. On a highway in Shibuya, Tokyo, cars whoosh by with so much detail, you can hear the first drops of rain on the street. At Gaudi’s famous Barcelona cathedral, La Sagranda Familia, a priest chants in Latin as his deep voice echoes around the cavernous space. Yet none of these sounds are real. Or, at least, they weren’t recorded where you see them. Instead, an AI has added a soundtrack to all of Street View, and often, the sounds are so convincing that you would never know they were faked. The project is Imaginary Soundscape, first spotted by Prosthetic Knowledge. Created by Nao Tokui, the system used a pair of neural networks first developed by MIT. One network learned how to identify the contents of images and video frames. The other network learned how to identify audio, distinguishing sounds like environmental acoustics. Combining the logic of the two, the system can identify open-source audio tracks that seem suitable for any given visual scene…”