Can a computer judge acoustic quality?

05/06/04

Project will examine potential for artificial intelligence

A project jointly led by Cardiff University and Salford University will examine whether it is possible for a computer to make a judgement about the acoustic quality of a space, such as a concert hall or pop music arena.

Professor Jonathon Chambers of the School of Engineering at Cardiff and Professor Trevor Cox at Salford's Acoustics Research Centre aim to discover whether an artificial intelligence system could mimic the trained individuals who can make judgements about a space by listening to music played in the room.

"This question is not solely of academic interest," said Professor Chambers. "It could lead to methods of assessing the acoustic qualities of spaces which would have enormous benefits to architects and the construction industry."

Professors Chambers and Cox are both internationally leading experts in room acoustics and blind signal processing and the combination of their unique skills underpins the likely success of the project.

Such activity will be the focus of the new Centre for Digital Signal Processing within the Cardiff School of Engineering, which will aim to provide solutions to industry, particularly in Wales.

Professor Chambers joined the School of Engineering as a Cardiff Professorial Fellow of Digital Signal Processing in January 2004 and leads a team of researchers involved in the analysis, design and evaluation of new algorithms in acoustics, biomedicine and wireless communications.

This project, entitled 'Room Acoustics Parameters from Music', is supported by 70,000 funding from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.

Source: Eurekalert & others

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