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Learning Beethoven’s 10th Symphony

Artificial Intelligence A.I. may be better termed as assisting intelligence, as a recent experimental AI showed producing a finished version of Beethoven’s 10th Symphony from mere notes as a starting point.

While the AI did not replicate the intelligence of Beethoven artificially, it helped in the practical development, modeling, and production of a symphony from an inspirational collection of Beethoven’s notes into a robust and completed symphonic performance. The symphony is a stunning achievement and a beautiful piece of music. Yet is it what Beethoven’s envisioned? Watch and listen to the trailer here:



What inspiration would have taken the place of notes, what instructions for instruments and arrangements would have come? What if Beethoven had erased something in a later draft? The AI does not represent the finished work, but a possible scenario modeled to completion. AI cannot artificially create insight, innovation, intent, purpose, or vision — wisdom. Those elements that make wisdom from knowledge remain in the domain of the AI handlers and technicians, performers who instruct, judge, and interpret the AI. All of which should now be the focus of learning instruction.

With learning, the opportunity within AI is not to replace the core of learning instead to enable more realistic practice scenarios, improved performance support, and the ability to personalize learning and rapid progress skill set that bridge learning knowledge from further afield.

As AI in learning progresses, the focus can teach concepts and facilitate opportunities to seek innovation and translate them to an individual’s experience and requirements.  

For true wisdom, we will continue to need learning to provide the creators and consumers of AI’s assistance with the knowledge and wisdom to instruct AI. 

While AI cannot take the place of learning and instruction, it can round out automate and ease learning processes. And learning and instruction must change accordingly. The opportunity for AI to perform the production and skills aspect of innovation leaves the more complex core concepts, decisions, and comprehension learning for the operators. As AI automates tasks and skills, the more difficult concepts and decisions remain. Here in the lies the power of story. Using metaphors provides shortcuts to knowledge and wisdom to bridge learners into new scenarios and opportunities from conventional knowledge.


Scenes from the Beethoven X: The AI Project Video

How Visuals influence a Story 

The visual storytelling within the video trailer positions the human elements performing the symphony in black and white, while stock shots of supercomputers are imbued with colored bokeh lighting effects to convey some unseen artificial magic in the creation process. The reality is quite different; the musicians complete sensory performance verse the sterile server room of blinking status lights.

Learning with an assisting intelligence can provide immediate feedback and personalized interpretive responses. Based on the inputs, opportunities, role, and profile of the learner, the learning outcomes can be shaped to have a more significant impact on the development of the learner.

AI cannot provide insight, innovation — the elements of wisdom. For that, we will continue to need learning to give the creators and consumers of AI’s assistance with the knowledge.  

At SmarterMedium, we explore how learning can assist organizations with the complex — onboarding and bridging workers and customers to new lanes of thinking on sustainability and purpose using stories and engaging learning experiences.

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