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Teen builds rapping AI patterned after Kanye lyrics

Bringing new meaning to the lyrics “I spit it through the wire,” a West Virginia teen has created an artificial intelligence that writes rap lyrics, patterned on the work of Kanye West. As reported by Quartz, Robbie Barrat created his digital Yeezy with the help of open-source neural network learning libraries, plus the lyrics from everything from The College Dropout up to The Life Of Pablo.

The end result, listenable above, is a surprisingly effective robo-voiced rap song. If you dig into the lyrics on an individual phrase level, you can still tease out which specific Kanye songs they’re being pulled from, but Barrat’s program does a pretty excellent job of making it all flow-together semi-naturally.

Of course, the old Frankenstein question applies here: Just because we can create a virtual Kanye West, does that mean we should? West is basically already a human Skynet—erratic, brilliant, and probably more powerful than is good for himself or others. It doesn’t feel out of line, then, to question whether any one machine should have all this power. (Also, we’re not totally in love with artificial intelligences learning how to use the occasional rap-prominent racial slur, even if that one’s probably already a lost cause.)

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