Fatboy Slim and Pete Tong
could soon find themselves out of a job if boffins at Hewlett Packard
have their way.
Scientists at HP's research
facility in Bristol say they have invented the world's first
artificially intelligent disc jockey.
It is able to react to the
moods of clubbers, and create and change music as the night goes on.
Dave Cliff, an HP Labs
scientist and part-time DJ, has apparently invented a programme that
can mix dance tracks without a DJ. Although not yet available as a
product, the hpDJ could turn the humble PC into the next Judge Jules.
"I muck around as a DJ
in my spare time, and realised that a lot of the techniques used in
artificial intelligence could be used to automate what DJs do,"
"I wondered if we could
invent software so people could use a home PC to create DJ-mixed
compilations with no gaps between the tracks."
The program analyses each
track for breakbeats, baselines and tempo to decide on the order of
Dancers also wear remote
sensors, sending signals to the computer DJ, letting it know that
they want a change in music.
The system also emulates a
real DJ by changing the pace, slowing things down or speeding things
up to suit the crowd. It also stretches out beats of one song to mix
properly into the other.
In a recent test in London,
two in five clubbers couldn't tell the difference between the hpDJ
and the real thing, HP said.
Scientists are now rumoured
to be working on a new version that mimics club DJs more accurately,
with the addition of artificial arrogance.