Art appreciation

Hong Kong Baptist University at the Forefront of Human-AI Symbiotic Art Creation with Innovative Performances

HONG KONG SAR –News Direct– Hong Kong Baptist University

HONG KONG SAR – Media outreach – August 2, 2022 – A pioneering and daring attempt to apply artificial intelligence (AI) technologies to the performing arts has been spearheaded by Hong Kong Baptist University (HKBU) in a public concert that s is held on July 14 in Hong Kong.

The HKBU Symphony Orchestra and an AI virtual choir perform a newly arranged choir-orchestral version of the song Pearl of the Orient, accompanied by a multimedia visual narrative based on lyrics and music created by an AI multimedia artist.

The groundbreaking performance was the first human-AI collaboration of its kind in the world, and it showed how AI can be a creative force capable of playing music, creating multimedia art and dancing.

The performance was powered by AI technologies developed by HKBU scientists under the Developing platform technologies for symbiotic creativity in Hong Kong research project. The concert, dubbed “A Lovers’ Reunion”, was the HKBU Symphony Orchestra Annual Gala Concertand it was led by its musical director, Professor Johnny M Poon.

The research project is led by Professor Guo Yike, Vice President (Research and Development) of HKBU, and supported by funding of HK$52.84 million (US$6.77 million) from the Research Grants Council’s Thematic Research Program. His Deputy Project Coordinator, Professor Johnny M Poonis Associate Vice President (Interdisciplinary Research) and Founding Dean of the School of Creative Arts at HKBU.

The project team also includes computer scientists from HKBU’s Augmented Creativity Lab. The unique mix of scientists and artists in the project team allows them to merge their interdisciplinary knowledge and come up with brilliant ideas on how to unlock the endless possibilities of artistic creation with the infusion of advanced technologies.

At the concert, the project team presented a performance that marked the first time in the world that an AI choir combined with an AI-generated visual storyteller to perform interactively with an orchestra conductor. and an orchestra. The HKBU Symphony Orchestra shared the stage with a AI virtual choir to perform a new arranged version of the song Pearl of the Orient with the voices of 320 virtual artists.

The AI ​​virtual choir was ‘trained’ by HKBU researchers using the generative models of singing they built by extracting and disentangling key contributing features of vocal singing from a collection of songs recorded by professional singers.

A AI Multimedia Artist learned from the words of Pearl of the Orient, and he created a stunning cross-media visual narrative of the song based on his interpretation of the lyrics’ underlying meaning. Unlike conventional AI machines that import images as a reference for algorithms to imitate, it used text lyrics as the only input so it could associate the underlying meaning of the lyrics with an appreciation of Hong Kong’s beauty.

Another highlight of the concert was a ballet featuring AI virtual dancers at Ravel Daphnis and Chloe, accompanied live by the HKBU Symphony Orchestra. With the help of professional dancers from the Hong Kong Dance Company, virtual AI dancers interpreted the underlying emotional and aesthetic connections between music and dance. The dance moves, inspired by a species of box jellyfish recently discovered in Hong Kong, were then choreographed.

Please Click here to view performance highlights, and Click here for more details on the production of the performance.

AI-driven performance is one of the many high-profile deliverables of the “Building Platform Technologies for Symbiotic Creativity in Hong Kong” research project, and others include an art data repository, an algorithm system of generative AI, a research theater, a digital art and policy network and some unique and creative application projects, to name a few.

Another important initiative that HKBU is organizing is the “Human, Machine, Art, Creativity: International Symposium” at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center on August 9.

“AI is revolutionizing many fields of knowledge and playing an increasingly important role in many creative processes such as music, visual arts and architecture. The symposium will bring together world-renowned researchers from academia and industry, crossing different areas of expertise, to jointly discuss emerging topics in human-AI symbiotic artistic creativity,” said Professor Guo.

The symposium will cover topics such as enabling technologies of symbiotic art creation and manifestation, aesthetic and cognitive values ​​of symbiotic artistic creativity, the new trend of art economy with Web 3.0, new issues raised by new forms of art in society, and the impact on actors in the artistic community, among others.

Interested persons can visit the Symposium website for more details.

Contact details

The Communications and Public Relations Office, HKBU

Wong Suk-ling

+852 3411 2119

[email protected]

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