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The Gr[AI]teful Dead: Robot Revives the Grateful Dead with New Song

Grateful Dead lives on through tribute and spin-off bands aplenty. Just this month, Dead & Company—featuring original Grateful Dead members Bob Weir, Mickey Hart, and Bill Kreutzmann teamed up with John Mayer—are kicking off their summer tour.

But why not add a new Grateful Dead song to their lineup just to keep things fresh?

Using the same predictive algorithm from our AI’s Taylor Swift love ballad, the CableTV.com data team got to work on new jam for the Grateful Dead. We fed the neural network lyrics from all 184 original Grateful Dead songs.

Our robot did its best spitting out 18 different songs. (They were disasters—you don’t want to see them.) We picked out the most coherent parts to piece together one full song with two verses, a chorus, and a bridge. And it’s only lyrics with no recorded version yet—our bot is a terrible singer.

It’s less structurally complicated—and shorter—than most Grateful Dead songs. Try as this little bot might, it’s no Robert Hunter (lyricist for the Grateful Dead).

But the results were kind of fun, with plenty of hidden potential. Is it a romantic song like “Lovelight” or a lonesome traveling song like “So Many Roads?” It depends on how you look at it.

Either way, you can find nuanced, multiple meanings in these lyrics. No, look deeper than that. Keep looking. We swear the heart and soul of the Grateful Dead is somewhere in there.

Okay. So this song may never be as beloved as “Scarlet Begonias.” We’re afraid Dead & Company might not even buy the rights from us.

But seriously, Mr. Mayer, you can reach us at general@cabletv.com. Our AI’s rates are very reasonable.

About the Author

Rachel’s catchphrase is “I’ma Google that.” This go-getter writer has a talent for finding incredible and bizarre facts on the web, and she is happy to pass her knowledge on to you.

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