BitRate: Machine Learning & Music Series

Machine Learning & Music Series by the Magenta team at Google Research and Gray Area

Machine Learning has entered the creative workspace in recent years with new artistic possibilities. From audiovisual processing and composition tools to music information retrieval and recommendation systems, artificial intelligence is used to generate songs, playlists, and visuals that massively reshape our contemporary sound & imaging landscapes.

The Magenta team at Google Research and Gray Area are teaming up to explore the creative integration of machine learning, music, and art in new software applications in this series of free remote workshops, lectures, and community hacks. Participants who submit creative work will be entered to win cash and hardware prizes.

Explore new ways of connecting at a distance through music, software, and art.

The BitRate: Remote Machine Learning & Music Series is open to everyone — no prior knowledge is required.


Introduction & Opening - August 7

5:30 - 6pm PST: Introductions by Gray Area and Magenta team at Google Research.

Workshops & Lectures - August 7 – August 9

August 7, 6-9pm PST: p5.js Workshop - Instructor: Rachel Rose Waterhouse

August 8, 11am - 2pm PST: Magenta.js Workshop - Instructor: Tero Parviainen

August 9, 12pm - 3pm PST: ml5.js Workshop - Instructor: Stephanie Andrews

Series Begins - August 7

Teams gather and begin prototyping process.

Project Submissions - August 31

Projects created will be submitted on

Conclusion & Awards - September 7

Finalists selected and announced.

Speakers, Instructors & Judges

Sehmon Burnam

Sehmon Burnam is a member of the Magenta team at Google, understanding how Machine Learning can be used in creative practice. A founding member of Dial Up, Sehmon now lives in San Francisco California.

Rachel Rose Waterhouse

Rachel Rose Waterhouse is an LA-based artist, designer, and technologist who works with code and 3D software tools to explore new ways of interacting and engaging with the world. Her interests are in music, poetry, and examining the relationships between humans, infrastructure, and ecological systems.
Previously, she was a Gray Area Incubator artist who also taught web development and creative coding courses in the 10 week immersive program, and was a student at the School for Poetic Computation. She is currently pursuing her MFA in Media Design Practices at ArtCenter College of Design.

Tero Parviainen

Tero Parviainen is a software developer in music and the arts, and co-founder of the creative technology studio Counterpoint. Tero spends most of his working hours in the intersection of music, generative systems, and machine learning. His work has recently featured in The Dallas Museum of Art, The Barbican Centre, Somerset House, and Turner Contemporary. He also contributes as a generative music engineer at Wavepaths, applying music to psychedelic therapy. Tero was one of the first users of TensorFlow.js and Magenta.js, and has built many projects with it, ranging from simple web experiments to interactive art installations.

Stephanie Andrews

Stephanie Andrews is a multimedia artist, experience designer, and instructor at Gray Area. She often creates art games, tactile spaces, and playful participatory installations that respond to emergent, speculative, and contemporary issues with levity and sentimentality, and that explore economies of collectivity, care, and communication. Stephanie brings to her art practice an interdisciplinary background spanning software engineering, interaction design, public policy, social work, and community organizing. She currently specializes in building interactive systems that use digital, physical, and interpersonal mediums to create shared space.

Niki Selken

Niki Selken 👩🏻‍💻is an artist, technologist and educator. Her work focuses around  storytelling, games and interaction design. She is the Creative Development Lead at Gray Area where she manages the artist incubator and creative code education programs. She founded the Emoji Foundation, created the Emoji Dictionary, and VR game EmojiFlower VR. Niki attributes her intuitive understanding of the translation and meaning of Emoji to her extensive Japanese stationery collection and study of Japanese Butoh and Noh theater. In 2014 she won New York NASA Space Apps  and placed as a global finalist for wearable tech project, Senti8. Her game, Find Maria Rivera was exhibited and selected as an Award Finalist at Indiecade 2015. In 2016 she was selected as a Kill Screen game design scholar andParsons E-Lab fellow for her Augmented Reality platform, Wayscape. Niki’s design and Emoji work has been featured by Yahoo TechAdafruitBuzzfeed and Make Magazine among others.

Nadav Hochman

Nadav Hochman is Gray Area’s Associate Director. Hochman spent the past two decades working at the intersection of art, technology, and society facilitating creative collaborations between global artists, designers, industry partners, and research institutions. His work has been exhibited in MoMA (NYC), SXSW, Google Zeitgeist, and featured in media outlets such as Popular Science, The Atlantic, Wired, and The Guardian. He also serves as an advisor, jury member, and mentor to international institutions such as Ars Electronica.

Douglas Eck

Douglas is a a research scientist working at the intersection of music and machine learning. Before coming to Google in 2010 he was an associate professor of computer science at Université de Montréal where he worked closely with the LISA machine learning lab, the BRAMS center for Brain Music and Sound and the CIRMMT group at McGill. He also worked with Ubisoft on video game player modeling.

Jesse Engel

Jesse Engel is lead research scientist on Magenta, a research team within Google Brain exploring the role of machine learning in creative applications. He did his Bachelors, and Ph.D., at UC Berkeley, studying the martian atmosphere and quantum dot nanoelectronics respectively, and a joint postdoc at Berkeley and Stanford on neuromorphic computing. Afterward, he worked with Andrew Ng to help found the Baidu Silicon Valley AI Lab and was a key contributor to DeepSpeech 2, a speech recognition system named one of the ‘Top 10 Breakthroughs of 2016’ by MIT Technology Review. He joined Google Brain in 2016, where he his research on Magenta includes creating new generative models for audio (DDSP, NSynth), symbolic music (MusicVAE, GrooVAE), adapting to user preferences (Latent Constraints, MIDI-Me), and work to close the gap between research and musical applications (NSynth Super, Magenta Studio). Outside of work, he is also a professional-level jazz guitarist, and likes to include in his bio that he once played an opening set for the Dalai Lama at the Greek Theatre.

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