On the occasion of this year's 250th anniversary of Ludwig van Beethoven's birth, Deutsche Telekom is launching an ambitious experiment: Completing the composer's 10th symphony.
Beethoven began working on a 10th symphony shortly before his death. He was unable to finish the work, and he left behind only a few sketches for it.
Now, an international team of musicologists and computer scientists plans to use artificial intelligence (AI) to create a plausible completed version of the symphony. Their aim, so to speak, is to pick up Beethoven's pen right where he last put it down.
Go here to learn more about the project's method.
"In no way does this project seek or attempt to challenge the uniqueness of Ludwig van Beethoven's genius. We simply want to show how collaboration between human and artificial intelligence can enhance our own imagination. In our project, we are sticking closely to Beethoven's sketches, and we are only completing material for which enough input from the composer himself is available. Our international group of experts is backing this approach with their reputations," emphasizes Timotheus Höttges, Deutsche Telekom CEO.
Deutsche Telekom also sees the project as a way of encouraging reflection and discussion about how technology influences our lives – and about what its role should be. Discussion about digitalization and artificial intelligence, in particular, has been taking place mostly among experts; the general public has given these topics relatively little attention. The project is an ideal vehicle for stimulating public discussion in these areas, because music and art reach wide audiences – including people with little interest in things technological.
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The world premiere of the so-completed 10th symphony will take place on April 28, 2020 in the Telekom Forum in Bonn. It will be performed by the Beethoven Orchestra Bonn under the direction of general music director Dirk Kaftan. The tickets are available at all known Bonnticket advance booking offices from 15 Euros: by telephone on +49 228 7 50 20 10 and online