WCIT to host first concert composed live by AI

The World Congress of Information Technology (WCIT) will open with a specially formed World Orchestra performing music as it’s being written by artificial intelligence (AI).

The concert forms part of the opening ceremony of the WCIT, which will be held from 6 to 9 October in Yerevan, Armenia.

The idea for the free outdoor concert in Republic Square comes from Sergey Smbatyan, Music Director of the Armenian State Symphony Orchestra, who will also conduct the orchestra.

The World Orchestra is formed of more than 100 professional musicians, with 75 being drawn from orchestras in the 14 countries that have previously hosted WCIT and 30 from the Armenian State Symphony Orchestra.

The orchestra will perform two works as they are being composed live by AI, with the technology creating two pieces of music live in front of the audience.

The first composition will be based on the anthems of the 15 previous, and current, host countries to create a new WCIT anthem.

For the second composition, the AI technology will produce a piece of music drawn from its database of traditional Armenian chants.

The AI will transmit each musical part to the tablets on the players’ stands so they can perform the music as it’s created.

The process will be tested in rehearsal, but the ultimate performance will be live.

Sergey Smbatyan, artistic director and principal conductor of the Armenian State Symphony Orchestra, and founder of the WCIT World Orchestra, says: ‘This ambitious creative endeavour will explore uncharted territory, creating symbiosis where art, culture, and technology meet. I like to call this type of AI ‘Artificial Talent’, as it brings together these two definitive fields. The whole world will witness this extraordinary fusion of music and technology, and gives us the opportunity to showcase the power of music. The creation of this orchestra underlines the importance of culture within the technology sphere, and once again proves that music transcends boundaries and does not recognise nationality.’

A spokesperson from WCIT adds: ‘The world has witnessed AI make developments and improvements in spheres such as mechanical engineering and transportation. Now, this Orchestra and this concert will convey a powerful message to the world – they’ll demonstrate new horizons for the future of art, science and engineering all working together. We’re thrilled to have the first ever musical project at WCIT, and we think the Armenian State Symphony Orchestra are the perfect musicians to execute such an ambitious venture.’

For more information about WCIT, please visit wcit2019.org.

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