Symphonologie: an orchestra created using artificial intelligence


Using artificial intelligence (AI) to help compose a symphony is an example of innovation at its most creative. A bridge between data and art.

Accenture Strategy, a professional services company, created this symphonic experience to highlight the state of technology in the world as it sees it.

Creating this symphony, dubbed Symphonologie, took 4 stages. First it was necessary to collect articles over the past year covering some issues that companies face, like artificial intelligence, robotics, the Internet of Things and digital trust. In total almost 220,000 words were collected.

Indeed, the new symphonic experience was inspired by the top stories in business and technology.

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The next stage was to capture the human sentiment around these technological trends, using artificial intelligence methods that translated this sentiment, based on the articles, into musical patterns.

Accenture said in a statement: ‘First, algorithms were used to analyse the sentiment surrounding current business topics – such as cybersecurity and Internet of Things – and translate it into melodic patterns.’

The penultimate stage required working with a composer, who scored and arranged the music created by AI for a full orchestra, and the final component was transfixing the digital display that visualises the data that inspired the symphony, which reacted to the musical story in real time.

“To demonstrate powerful outcomes that live at the intersection of business and technology, we looked to another intersection: data and art,” said Mark Knickrehm, group chief executive at Accenture Strategy. “Symphonologie reveals, in a totally new way, the hopes, fears, ambitions and projections of today’s world of business. It’s a prime example of how strategy and technology together can unlock a new way to view the world.”

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Symphonologie is a comment on the current state of society, and technology’s place within it. It represents three specific movements, according to Accenture Strategy.

Voices of business

It reflects the state of business in our digital world, a landscape of new models and fluid expectations.

The rise of technology

It brings to life the sense of upheaval and disruption driven by new digital technologies.

A new digital world

The final movement, concludes the symphony with the sense of a promising landscape propelled by the latest technology and business thinking.

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Leveraging knowledge of the issues disrupting business today and applying artificial intelligence techniques to create a piece of music, will help enhance the understanding of the new digital world and evolving technologies. This project serves to unite two areas that are not considered compatible: data and art (music and culture).

Collaboration involving a creative coder, an orchestral composer and a data visualist, to create something like Symphonologie, should be championed.

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Nick Ismail

Nick Ismail is a former editor for Information Age (from 2018 to 2022) before moving on to become Global Head of Brand Journalism at HCLTech. He has a particular interest in smart technologies, AI and...