Smbatyan’s brainchild WCIT World Orchestra to play AI-composed music in real-time

Armenpress 11:00, 14 September, 2019

YEREVAN, SEPTEMBER 14, ARMENPRESS. The upcoming 2019 World Congress on Information Technology (WCIT) is expected to gather numerous IT giants and experts in Yerevan from October 6 to 9 and organizers are determined to deliver a real show for everyone.

Armenia will be hosting the congress for the first time and for this special occasion another new initiative has been created – the WCIT World Orchestra.

The orchestra will kick off the congress with an unprecedented concert on October 6 at Yerevan's central plaza, a mix of modern technology and arts – it will play AI-composed music in real-time.  The concert will be conducted by Sergey Smbatyan – the artistic director and principal conductor of the Armenian State Symphony Orchestra.

“They often say that technological advancement is drawing away from one another. We attach importance to education, culture, and by creating the WCIT orchestra we wanted to show that information technology successes can also be displayed in arts,” Smbatyan told ARMENPRESS’s Angela Hambardzumyan.

The more than 100-man orchestra is composed of musicians from all those countries who have previously hosted the WCIT Congress.

Now the interesting part: Smbatyan says they have no idea what they will play because an artificial intelligence machine is going to compose the music and the orchestra will have to play it in real-time, without any chance for rehearsing.

“It is interesting when a machine is taught to think in thousands of algorithms, and we are able to understand what abilities intelligence in general has. There are people who don’t even have the talent of AI but there are those who change the world,” Smbatyan said. He said this particular machine has been taught to compose music based on the Armenian chant (sharakan).

DJ and producer Armin van Buuren, among others, will also perform at the concert.

Creating the WCIT World Orchestra is Smbatyan’s brainchild and it was realized with support from WCIT 2019 organizers.


Edited and translated by Stepan Kocharyan



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