Researcher develops algorithm that turns Tweets into tweets


A Brazilian audio researcher has created an evolutionary algorithm that converts the world of Twitter into realistic birdsong.

In a journal published by the International Journal of Arts and Technology, José Fornari of the Interdisciplinary Nucleus for Sound Communication (NICS) in São Paulo, who also happens to design soundscapes, spent several years honing this idea for the ultimate generative soundscape.

Firstly, he had to create “instantiations of a computer model that emulates a bird syrinx”. In other words, he created realistic-sounding clusters of synthesised birdsong, that would then combine in evolving patterns.

Birdsong code

For the second part, in order for the birdsong to evolve, he used the data from Twitter to become the heartbeat of the birdsong.

As we know Twitter ebbs and flows with the important trending topics of the day, it never repeats the same day’s chatter twice. This meant it was a perfect tool to turn what would normally be a looping soundtrack, into an always-evolving sequence.

This idea has been in development for a few years, and you can see José Fornari give a great TED Talk on his research and work below: