Artificial intelligence is being used for everything from recovering lost paintings to minority report style dystopian crime prediction. With constant fears surrounding the next big use for AI, it’s nice to see the tech used for something jovial, such as finishing Beethoven’s 10th Symphony.
Reported by Scientific American, artificial intelligence has been used to finish a long-craved piece of music. Almost 200 years after the death of acclaimed composer Ludwig van Beethoven, AI finished the infamously unfinished 10th Symphony for him.
AI finishes Beethoven’s 10th Symphony
The artificial intelligence software worked for months compiling different versions of the 10th Symphony. Based on collections of sketches and handwritten notes left by the late composer, hundreds of versions were created.
Firstly, the AI needed to “think” just like the dead musician. Beethoven’s complete works, as well as any and all discovered notes, were fed into the software’s dataset. Secondly, the AI was taught to harmonise melodies and compose bridges.
As the software continued to learn, it was tasked with recreating the unfinished Symphony. While it may never be as Beethoven wanted it to be, the finished version certainly impressed the software’s creators.
Good enough to impress
Composer Walter Werzowa was put in charge of listening to every version of Beethoven’s 10th that the AI churned out. Every morning, the composer would receive an email with the latest generated pieces of music with hundreds of variations.
Listen to the piece below:
As it stands, fans of the composer are impressed, but the AI’s interpretation is not perfect. There are moments throughout the 21-minute composition where the AI copies snippets from other symphonies. Additionally, fans claim the music is merely a pastiche with one claiming its a “Pet Semetary” version of a composer.