U of Illinois professor building jazz-improvisation computer

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — Improvisation is at the heart of jazz and a University of Illinois researcher aims to use it to study interaction between people and increasingly intelligent computers. The university said in a news release Wednesday that professor Ben Grosser is designing a computer system that will communicate with people through jazz improvisation. Grosser is a professor of new media. Grosser is putting together a database of jazz solos to be analyzed. He then plans to add a system to analyze what a performer is playing in real time. In a year he hopes to have a “robot” that will be able to listen to live music and musically respond. Grosser doesn’t anticipate the computer will be a sophisticated jazz player, but might be as good as a typical high school musician.