AI-Powered Robot Takes the Baton: Conducting the Korean National Symphony Orchestra

In a historic moment at the National Theatre of Korea, an android named EveR 6 made its public debut as a conductor, leading the country’s national symphony orchestra on June 30. Created by the Korea Institute of Industrial Technology (KITECH), EveR 6 is a humanoid robot with a lifelike appearance, complete with a torso, arms, neck, and head.

KITECH trained EveR 6 using motion capture technology, which involved attaching sensors to record the movements of a human conductor’s baton. The robot was also programmed to interpret and replicate the speed of the baton’s gestures.

Ahead of the performance, the National Theatre of Korea released a teaser video showcasing the rehearsal and training process on its YouTube channel.

Conductor Choi Soo-yeoul shared the stage with EveR 6, co-conducting the performance titled “Absence.” Choi acknowledged that real-time interaction and communication are among the most challenging aspects for robots, especially in a musical context. He pointed out that EveR 6’s “critical weakness” lies in its inability to listen. However, Choi was pleasantly surprised by the robot’s precise movements, stating that it exceeded his expectations.

During the concert, both Choi and EveR 6 took turns conducting pieces, with the robot leading three out of the five compositions. They also performed one piece side by side, demonstrating a harmonious coexistence between humans and robots. Choi reflected on the recital, emphasizing that robots and humans can complement each other rather than being in competition.

Cointelegraph reached out to the Korean National Symphony Orchestra for comments from the musicians who performed under the robot’s baton, but no immediate response was received.

Opinions among the audience members were mixed. Lee Young-ji, a concertgoer, praised the robot’s ability to maintain rhythm but noted that it lacked a sense of “breath.” According to Young-ji, there is room for improvement in the robot’s performance. Another attendee, Song In-ho, suggested that equipping the robot with an artificial intelligence (AI) system to understand and analyze music would enhance its capabilities.

Although the robot’s skills were met with varying assessments, the performance marked a significant milestone in South Korea. Prior to EveR 6, Honda’s robot Asimo guest-conducted a performance with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra in 2008, and in 2017, a robot named YuMi conducted a performance in Switzerland. Additionally, in 2020, the Japanese-designed robot Alter 3 led a 7-minute-long piece of music titled “Scary Beauty,” known as an “android opera.”

The fusion of robotics and classical music continues to push boundaries and explore new possibilities for artistic expression.

For more news, find me on Twitter or subscribe to my YouTube channel.

What is your opinion on this issue? Leave me your comment below! I’m always interested in your opinion!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recommended for you