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A. Can Computers Be Creative?

Narrator: This is Science Today. Composer David Cope of the University of California, Santa Cruz has invented a computer program called EMI, for Experiments in Musical Intelligence, that creates original works in the style of classical composers. That's upset some people's notions of artistic creativity: can lines of computer code do what a human can? Cope says not to worry.

Cope: Well, first of all, those lines of code were written by a human being, and that hardware was constructed by a whole bunch of human beings, and therefore human beings were very much involved with the process. It's not as if these lines of code or this hardware just suddenly appeared out of nowhere.

Narrator:: Many listeners have been fooled, mistaking EMI's works for those of the original composer.

Cope: After all, it's based on the original material and nothing else, so that that is not too surprising. And because it so thoroughly relies on that original music, one possible reason that a lot of EMI works tend to sound inspired, it could be that it's inheriting some of the inspiration from the original.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Steve Tokar.