Can Artificial Intelligence do what the great composers couldn’t in their time? Beleaguered telecommunications company Huawei, reeling from an international sanctions-busting and trade secrets theft scandal, has made more positive headlines in the classical music world by completing Schubert’s Unfinished Symphony using AI. Schubert began the symphony in 1822, but had only completed two movements (plus a nearly completed piano score of a Scherzo) when he died in 1828. While a number of composers and musicologists have ‘finished’ the work, including Felix Weingartner, Gerald Abraham and Brian Newbould, and Robin Holloway, now, apparently, there’s an app for that.

Schubert Franz Schubert

“At Huawei, we are always searching for ways in which technology can make the world a better place. So we taught our Mate 20 Pro smartphone to analyse an unfinished, nearly 200-year-old piece of music and to finish it in the style of the original composer,” said Walter Ji, President CBG, Huawei Western Europe. “We used the power of AI, to extend the boundaries of what is humanly possible and see the positive role technology might have on modern culture. If our smartphone is intelligent enough to do this, what else could be...

This article is available to Limelight subscribers.

Log in to continue reading.

Access our paywalled content and archive of magazines, regular news and features for the limited offer of $3 per month. Support independent journalism.

Subscribe now