Louis, Duke, Miles And Mac?

CAN A COMPUTER IMPROVISE jazz solos in the manner of Louis Armstrong or Thelonius Monk? A program written by John A. Biles, a trumpet-blowing computer scientist at Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, N.Y., for his Macintosh falls short of that lofty goal. But using what is called a genetic algorithm, Biles's GenJam manages to entertain off-campus audiences in live sessions with its creator.

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