Pictures and Tunes from Travelers


SoundSeeker app on a handheld device
Photo courtesy of Royal Caribbean

Royal Caribbean, the global cruise line, teamed up with experts from Berklee and technologists from around the world to create SoundSeeker. This first-of-its-kind tool that transforms travelers’ most memorable photos into an original, shareable soundtrack with a video to match. More than a year in the making, SoundSeeker is a patent-pending digital experience powered by artificial intelligence (AI). The tool is specifically designed to use machine learning to seamlessly create original soundtracks based on the content of each photograph.

By visiting the SoundSeeker website, users can upload three photos, which are analyzed with AI based on color, landscape, backdrop, emotion, body language, and facial expression. SoundSeeker then turns them into a shareable and one-of-a kind soundtrack—virtually DJ-ing life’s most brag-worthy moments. Fans can follow along on Royal Caribbean’s social channels, and by searching #SoundSeeker.

The contributors from Berklee’s Institute for Creative Entrepreneurship (BerkleeICE), an on-campus initiative that promotes entrepreneurialism, included Electronic Production and Design chair Michael Bierylo, associate professors Ben Houge and Michael Sweet, and assistant professor Jean-Luc Sinclair.

SoundSeeker uses machine learning, an AI technique that enables computers to simulate human intelligence and make decisions on their own without explicit instructions. The learning process entailed more than 600 hours in which Royal Caribbean and a team of musicians and technologists reviewed hundreds of music tracks along with 10,000 photos, matching each of the 2.5 million combinations to one of 10 moods.

SoundSeeker AI uses Google Cloud Vision to identify objects, facial expressions, and colors in a user’s photo by referencing the roadmap developed by the Berklee participants. SoundSeeker then finds the musical elements corresponding to each mood in the photo to compose a genuinely distinct audio and visual photo album. The tool is equipped to generate over one million unique tracks, based on custom base tracks, composed exclusively for Royal Caribbean. The customized tracks draw inspiration from a wide variety of music, including 1990s-era hip-hop, rock, modern, and electronic dance music.

“SoundSeeker is the latest proof point of Royal Caribbean innovation and how we focus it on delivering unexpected, memorable experiences,” said Jim Berra, chief marketing officer, Royal Caribbean International.  “People of all ages crave new ways to share their best experiences on social media,” Berra continues. “This unprecedented tool allows you to put a completely unique, multisensory spin on sharing those memories. Now friends and followers can see and hear your life’s adventures.”