A robot led human musicians during a performance in the United Arab Emirates.
The robot, called Alter 3, has a human face and two long arms.
Video of the recent performance in the emirate of Sharjah showed the machine turning forwards orchestra limbs and waving his arms. Alter 3 even sang sometimes.
The performance was an opera titled “Scary Beauty”, created by Japanese composer Keiichiro Shibuya. He told Reuters news agency that the robot was acting like the driver by adjusting the speed and sound level of the performance.
Shibuya said that the involvement of robots in the daily life of humans is increasing. But, he said he thinks people will have to decide in the future how artificial intelligence, AI, can better enhance the human experience.
Shibuya added that he believes humans and robots can learn to work together to create beautiful art. “This work is a metaphor of the relationship between humans and technology, ”he said.
Shibuya noted that sometimes the leading music robot can “get crazy”, Which makes it difficult to follow musicians. But other times humans and machines cooperate very well.
Shibuya said the robots and AI that exist today are “far from complete.” He is interested in how such incomplete technology can be combined with art.
From those who witnessed it, the performance elicited mixed reactions. “I think it’s a very exciting idea… we’ve come to see what it looks like and what’s possible,” said Anna Kovacevic.
Another attendee, who gave his name only as Billum, said after the show, “You know, a human conductor is so much better.” Although he said he is interested in AI and looks forward to big developments, he noted of the project: “human contact is lost”.
I am Bryan Lynn.
Reuters reported this story. Bryan Lynn adapted the report for VOA Learning English, with additional information from the New National Theater in Tokyo. Mario Ritter, Jr. was the editor.
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Words in this story
orchestra – nm a large group of musicians who play different instruments together
composer – nm someone who writes music
driver – nm person who leads a group of musicians or singers
artificial intelligence – nm developing computer systems with the ability to perform work that normally requires human intelligence
metaphor – nm a way of describing something by comparing it to something else that has some of the same qualities
crazy – adj. extremely enthusiastic or excited