STAI CDT at King’s Festival of AI: ‘Synthetica – The Future of Music’

9th June 2023 | News

News > STAI CDT at King’s Festival of AI: ‘Synthetica – The Future of Music’

STAI CDT PhD students Madeleine Waller (2021 cohort), Michelle Nwachukwu (2022 cohort), Usman Islam (2022 cohort) and Stefan Roesch (2022 cohort) took part in the recent King’s Festival of Artificial Intelligence with their demonstration, ‘Synthetica: the future of music’. 

The in-person activity challenged visitors to see if they could tell the difference between human-made and AI-generated music by comparing tracks of music composed by humans and by AI. It also aimed to prompt visitors to think about the future of music. 

The demo was a great chance for Madeleine, Usman, Stefan and Michelle to put their public engagement training into practice and have interesting and surprising discussions about AI with visitors. As they explain, “Presenting our work in the arcade, showcasing the future of music, provided a wonderful opportunity to engage with the public and gain valuable insights from them. Since this topic falls outside our areas of expertise, delving deeper into it and engaging in discussions was truly fascinating. Surprisingly, people exhibited a much greater interest than we initially anticipated, offering a diverse range of strong opinions regarding the potential effects of AI and technology on music creation in the future, both positive and negative. All in all, we are grateful for the chance to explore something new and gain experience in developing and executing public engagement projects”. 

As part of their project, Madeleine, Usman, Stefan and Michelle also formed a band with Jerrod Macnaughtan, called ‘The Algorithmix’. After months of practicing, they performed an impressive live set of AI composed music for the King’s Festival of AI launch. The Algorithmix had this to say about their performance, “We thoroughly enjoyed our project exploring the future impact of AI tools on music composition. The process of preparing for our live band performance was both enjoyable and challenging, and the actual live performance itself proved to be incredibly rewarding”. They plan to continue practicing as a band. 

The Algorithmix – (from left) Madeleine, Jerrod, Usman, Michelle and Stefan

You can read more about their event here. We also encourage you to visit King’s Institute for Artificial Intelligence’s exhibition, Bringing the Human to the Artificial, which runs until 30 June in the Arcade at Bush House and highlights AI across King’s College London.