Can a Computer Conduct an Orchestra?

asimoAt least two already have. In March 2004, Sony’s QRIO robot – a 58cm high humanoid bot that’s also rather good at dancing – conducted the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra for a performance of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony. A few years later in 2008, Honda’s Asimo conducted the Detroit Symphony Orchestra performing Impossible Dream. The results sounded rather good, which is more than can be said for Russian media artist Dmitry Morozov’s work in 2015. In his artwork called Nayral-Ro, a human was able to conduct a bizarre robot orchestra of buzzing and bleeping devices, producing ‘music’ more reminiscent of a fax machine than a symphony.

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