Thursday, July 21, 2011

Hats Off to Hatsune Miku, Japan's Virtual Pop Star!

One of Emma's good friends, Del B., brought a real ray of shineshine into my heart yesterday. How, you ask? By introducing me to Hatsune Miku, Japan's virtual pop star. Haven't heard of her? You will. Hatsune was created by Crypton Future Media, a Japanese company that licensed Yamaha’s Vocaloid voice synthesizing software and used it to make Miku, a virtual 16 year old that can sing anything you program for her. People across the globe buy her software, write songs, and share them online. During her live concert appearances, Hatsune Miku is projected on a transparent film, allowing the virtual singer to dance on stage in front of her adoring fans.

I've been trying to understand why Miku fills me with such joy. Sure, she's cute; it's not that. Yes, she's a ringing confirmation of the Virtual (something in which Emma and I have a slight interest), but I think the real reason I like her so much is because she's another step towards machines that can create Art. In The Cyberiad, Stanislaw Lem wrote a story about a computer that could write poetry better than any human. This story, along with many of Lem's other works, have been the inspiration for Emma and for her own forays into expressive verse. Machines that can create Art. Machines that can create Art better than we can. What an idea!

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