Huawei uses AI to complete Schubert’s Unfinished Symphony


One of the most intriguing pieces of unfinished symphonic music has finally been completed, thanks to robots. Okay, not robots per se, but by the power of artificial intelligence (AI) and Huawei’s expert programmers. And when we say “finally been completed”, we really mean one company has been bold/hubristic enough to take a stab at filling in the gaps.

Huawei used the Mate 20 Pro and AI to compose the missing, final two movements of Schubert’s famous Symphony No. 8. more commonly known as the (no surprises here) ‘Unfinished Symphony’. It has remained incomplete for 197 years, despite numerous attempts (by mere mortals, granted) to finish it. 

The Huawei Mate 20 Pro smartphone’s NPU (Neural Processing Unit) and onboard AI were used to complete Schubert’s Symphony No. 8. The system was designed specifically with AI-based tasks in mind. Have a look at the video below. 

Analysing the timbre, pitch and meter of the existing first and second movements of the symphony, the AI model generated a melody for the final, missing third and fourth movements. Huawei worked with Emmy award-winning composer Lucas Cantor, to arrange the melody of the new parts in a way that stays true to the style of Schubert’s Symphony No. 8 (in other words, they got Cantor to tidy things up).

Although its hard to see this as anything other than an extravagant marketing tool for Huawei — which could do with some good press in light of recent arrests of high-profile executives and its network infrastructure being banned in ever more countries — it’s nonetheless a novel means of demonstrating what AI and machine learning are capable of.

Source: Digital Trends


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Digital Editor at Stuff. Nevermind the fancy title, I like writing about things that are cool. Like games, gadgets and sometimes even software. Depending on how cool it is.

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