ESPOO, Finland, May 22 (UPI) -- Even rappers might soon lose their jobs to robots. Researchers at Aalto University, in Finland, have designed a computer algorithm that mines the lyrics and beats of other rap songs to construct its own original rhymes.
The computer program, designed by a team of researchers led by Eric Malmi, mixes and matches previously gleaned rap lyrics, pairing lines and phrases that rhyme and touch on similar subject matter -- creating new rap songs out of old rap songs.
The software, dubbed DeepBeat, pulls from a catalogue of 583,669 lines, sourced from 10,980 songs by different English-language rap artists. Researchers say the technology could power the rapping robots of the future.
The following lyrics are from a DeepBeat-authored rap song organized around the topic of love.
For a chance at romance I would love to enhance But everything I love has turned to a tedious task One day we gonna have to leave our love in the past I love my fans but no one ever puts a grasp I love you momma I love my momma -- I love you momma And I would love to have a thing like you on my team you take care I love it when it's sunny Sonny girl you could be my Cher I'm in a love affair I can't share it ain't fair Haha I'm just playin' ladies you know I love you. I know my love is true and I know you love me too Girl I'm down for whatever cause my love is true This one goes to my man old dirty one love we be swigging brew My brother I love you Be encouraged man And just know When you done let me know cause my love make you be like WHOA If I can't do it for the love then do it I won't All I know is I love you too much to walk away though
The algorithm rhymes line-ending words in a manner consistent with most hip hop lyricists. That is, it uses assonance rhyme, which couples words with similar vowel sounds, like "baby" and "hazy."
Emphasizing assonance over consonant rhyming ("tick" and "tock") or sound rhyming ("drug" and "bug"), allows for more wiggle room in terms of pairing words and phrases, which ultimately results in more varied and sophisticated lyrics.
Assonance rhyming isn't relegated to the ends of lines, and can be included within a line -- a string of words with similar vowel sounds. The same software that pieces together new lyrics can used its understanding of assonance rhyming to analyze the rhyming density of rap lyrics, and ranks hip hop artists in terms of lyrical complexity. Rappers score higher for multi-syllabic rhyming.
According to DeepBeat, the top three rappers are: Inspectah Deck, Rakim and Redrama. American hip hop heads are likely respect the first two, but few are likely to have heard of Finnish rapper Redrama. It's not clear whether the algorithm favors home cooking.
Malmi says the computer itself isn't far away from competing.
"DeepBeat outperforms the top human rappers by 21% in terms of length and frequency of the rhymes in the produced lyrics," researchers write in their newly published paper on the algorithm.