If you're concerned about robots coming to replace you at your job, maybe it's time to consider a career change: it looks like rappers are safe for now.
In a new paper out this week — excellently titled "DopeLearning: A Computational Approach to Rap Lyrics Generation" — Finnish researchers describe a system — excellently titled "DeepBeat" — that mines a database of rap lyrics, then remixes them into a new song.
The paper starts by explaining that "rap lyrics require both creativity, to construct a meaningful and an interesting story, and lyrical skills, to produce complex rhyme patterns, which are the cornerstone of a good flow," but maybe the program isn't quite there yet. DeepBeat snaps together stanzas of great rap but doesn't seem to have much ability to get past a simple rhyme, and definitely doesn't have the ability to remix those lyrics into anything resembling a story or theme beyond a keyword. Here's an example:
For a chance at romance I would love to enhance (Big Daddy Kane - The Day You're Mine)
But everything I love has turned to a tedious task (Jedi Mind Tricks - Black Winter Day)
One day we gonna have to leave our love in the past (Lil Wayne - Marvin's Room)
I love my fans but no one ever puts a grasp (Eminem - Say Goodbye Hollywood)
I love you momma I love my momma - I love you momma (Snoop Dogg - I Love My Momma)
And I would love to have a thing like you on my team you take care (Ghostface Killah - Paragraphs Of Love)
I love it when it's sunny Sonny girl you could be my Cher (Common - Make My Day)
I'm in a love affair I can't share it ain't fair (Snoop Dogg - Show Me Love)
Haha I'm just playin' ladies you know I love you. (Eminem - Kill You)
I know my love is true and I know you love me too (Everlast - On The Edge)
Girl I'm down for whatever cause my love is true (Lil Wayne - Sean Kingston I'm At War)
This one goes to my man old dirty one love we be swigging brew (Big Daddy Kane - Entaprizin)
My brother I love you Be encouraged man And just know (Tech N9ne - Need More Angels)
When you done let me know cause my love make you be like WHOA (Missy Elliot - Dog In Heat)
If I can't do it for the love then do it I won't (KRS One - Take It To God)
All I know is I love you too much to walk away though (Eminem - Love The Way You Lie)
That does appear to be a love song, but it's not going to win a Grammy.
That said, come to think of it, Rakim can get a little robotic with his rhymes: "Even if it’s jazz or the quiet storm / I hook a beat up, convert it into hip-hop form."