WolframTones Cell Phone Tones From Cellular Automata

WolframTones, cellphone ringtones created by the same computer programs used to construct a "computational universe," are now available from Steven Wolfram.

WolframTones works by taking simple programs from Wolfram's computational universe and then rendering them as music. Each of these simple algorithms in effect defines a virtual world, with its own special story; WolframTones captures it as a musical composition for you to play bck on your cellphone.

The process uses cellular automata which are created using very simple rules. Start with a row of "cells" (dots that are either black or white) and then uniformly apply a simple rule to generate the next row of cells.


(From WolframTones Ringtones)

Then take a slice through the results, and turn it on its side. Now, use each vertical colunn of dots to specify the characteristics of musical notes.


(From Wolfram Ringtones)

Every composition is original. The user starts at a control panel at the WolframTones website, and selects the musical style - classical, jazz, hip-hop, ambient among many others. The webserver makes its calculations, and serves up a new composition.


(From Wolfram Ringtones)

Science fiction writer William Gibson wrote about an artificially intelligent computer system that could create original music. In Neuromancer, Zion is an orbital habitat, spun to make gravity for the inhabitants. It was started by Rastafarian workers who refused to go back down to Earth, and started building with whatever they had.

"Voices." The Founder from Los Angeles was staring at Case. "We monitor many frequencies. We listen always. Came a voice, out of the babel of tongues, speaking to us. It played us a mighty dub."
"Call 'em Winter Mute," said the other, making it two words.
Case felt the skin crawl on his arms...
"You ever hear this voice before?"
"No," said the man from Los Angeles, "and we are uncertain of its meaning. If these are Final Days, we must expect false prophets..."
"Listen," Case said, "that's an AI, you know? Artificial intelligence. The music it played you, it probably just tapped your banks and cooked up whatever it thought you'd like to --"
"Babylon," broke in the other Founder, "mothers many demon, I an' I know. Multitude horde!"

Click through to the WolframTones website and let the computer use cellular automata to cook up some cellular ringtones for your phone. Or, find detailed information about WolframTones cellphone ringtones.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 9/11/2005)

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