HTXT.AFRICA

Infinite Bad Guy seamlessly transitions between over 16 000 Billie Eilish covers

Back in 2019 Billie Eilish released Bad Guy and that track recently breached the one billion views mark on YouTube. Not bad for an 18 year old although it does have us wondering what we’ve done with our lives.

Existential dread aside, we have a rather fun internet toy for you to play with today – Infinite Bad Guy.

This website was created by Google and features over 16 000 covers of Eilish’s hit single but it’s not just a case of covers playing one after another.

Heading to the website you will be met with the intro to Eilish’s video but click on one of the tags below the video player and the audio and video will seamlessly transition to a cover.

This is done using machine learning but it’s not just playing a video at the same time you stop playing another.

“To create this experience, Google Creative Lab had to perfectly align the audio from thousands of videos with different tempos, instruments, keys, and styles. Conventional algorithms couldn’t do the trick alone, so we turned to machine learning. For videos that deviated from the original track — like acoustic or a cappella versions — we built a neural network that could predict matches between covers and the original. With this data, we were able to line up all kinds of different covers, and switch seamlessly between them,” the YouTube team wrote in a blog.

The Google Knowledge Graph was then used to identify music styles, instruments and other key moments of each video cover.

This is what allows a seamless transition between tracks though there are some transitions which will jar your ears such as going from acapella covers to metal.

Once the song is complete the track starts over again with Eilish’s original.

Overall though, this is a damn impressive feat and one you really have to see for yourself.

While we’d love to see more experiments like this we recognise that Bad Guy has a rather consistent bass track that makes mixing covers a bit easier.

With everything happening in the world, this is a bit of mindless fun brought to us by some clever web development.

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