This Computer System Taught Beginner Pianists To Play Bach

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BACh, which stands for Brain Automated Chorales, is a computer system designed by Beste Yuksel and Robert Jacob of Tufts University. Its "mind-reading" capabilities boil down to this: by using functional Near-Infrared Spectroscopy (fNIRS) through sensors placed on a subject's forehead, BACh measures oxygen levels in the prefrontal cortex. This allows it to know how hard a brain is working, as a very active brain uses more oxygen. BACh waits until it determines that the brain is ready to receive new information, and then adds more complexity to the chorale it's teaching. Through this method, 16 inexperienced piano players were able to learn Bach chorales more accurately than when they learned without the system.

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Key Facts In This Video

  1. Teachers today face the challenge of adjusting their teaching style to suit the learning needs of many students. 00:52

  2. In the future, complex algorithms could analyze the way a student learns and adjust its lessons accordingly. 01:42

Written by Curiosity Staff February 24, 2016