While some composers have famously died prior to completing a major composition, when it comes to the 8th Symphony of the Austrian composer Franz Schubert, this is not the case. Although it is one of his most beloved compositions, Schubert’s 8th symphony was left incomplete after the first two movements. Although Schubert orchestrated a brief fragment of a would be third movement, he ultimately moved on and composed his 9th or “Great” symphony, leaving his previous work unfinished at the time of his death.
There are many theories as to why Schubert never returned to his 8th symphony, but this has not stopped multiple composers from creating their own third and fourth movements to Schubert’s 8th. This year however, Schubert’s 8th got a new 3rd and 4th movement composed not by the human hand but by artificial intelligence (AI).
Using Chinese AI technology uploaded onto the Huawei Mate 20 Pro, the smart phone recorded a performance of the existing movements of Schubert’s Unfinished symphony and used ultra-modern music recognition algorithms to compose the melody of a new set of movements that would complete the symphony in a manner that consistent with the musical themes and style of Schubert’s existing two movements. These new AI composed melody lines where then orchestrated by composer Lucas Cantor, before the 4 movement version of the symphony premiered in London on the 4th of February.
The entire performance can be heard here.
Of course, the concept of “completing” unfinished works by long dead composers who left no instructions regarding a would-be desire to see a given work completed, will always remain controversial. But the fact of the matter is that so long as humans attempt to complete such works, there is no reason why a machine should not be given such an opportunity as well, not least because it hints at the possibility of ever more immersive musical experiences at the level of composition, performance, education and audience interaction.
The co-composition between Schubert and a Huawei Mate 20 Pro’s AI further demonstrates that for Huawei, innovation and originality remain key priorities, whilst the completion of the symphony also demonstrates just how far Chinese researches have come in terms of pioneering AI in ways that can help to culturally enrich the lives of ordinary people.
As Schubert was a European composer and seeing as the Huawei AI completed composition premiered in an historic European capital, leaders of European nations should clearly think again before jumping to deprive their people of the potential for high-tech enlightenment made possible through Huawei’s cutting edge technology. Below is Eurasia Future’s full assessment of Huawei’s potential to add value to European mobile networks and hardware systems.
US founding father Benjamin Franklin famously stated that “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety“. Today, whether in the US, Canada or in the European Union, the pantomime false flag of “security” is being used to justify restrictions on consumer liberty in matters that have nothing to do with protecting the safety of human beings, but have everything to do with protecting corporate interests. What for the US is a geo-strategic ‘great game’ against the rise of Chinese innovation in the marketplace, has led European consumers to become a group of unwilling whipping boys in a fight to curtail genuine marketplace freedoms for European consumers who stand to gain nothing from America’s increasingly hyper-nationalistic and tariff happy policies.
While the US market has used the false flag of “security” to stifle US consumer choice when it comes to buying ultra-modern Chinese designed smartphones, European consumers have generally had more choice when it comes to shopping for Chinese brands including the industry leading Huawei. This is what makes the arrest of a former Huawei employee in Europe by the Polish authorities deeply worrying. The arrest of Chinese national Wang Weijing in Poland comes just over a month after Canada kidnapped and illegally detained Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou on orders from Washington – thus leading one to deduce that Wang’s arrest in Poland was likely underpinned by the same nefarious motives.
For the United States, stopping China from competing in a free, globalised market remains a goal and most deviously of all, the US is attempting to do this not only by erecting tariff barriers which are nothing but a regressive tax on American consumers, but also by forcing its allies in Europe and beyond to curtail the economic activity of Chinese firms by invoking the big “security” lie.
First of all, as Huawei’s existing products have been on the market in Europe for years and have never raised any actual security red flags, there is absolutely no reason to think that the next generation of ultra-fast 5G Huawei products should be any different in this respect. Secondly, as China is keen to develop freer and more open trading relations with Europe, Beijing’s companies would be happy to see more of their products in European shops in exchange for more European products on Chinese shelves and popular online retailers.
With European leaders too supine to come out with protectionist tariffs of the aggressive Trump variety, they instead are hiding behind the dirty veil of the great security swindle in order to punish European consumers in the same way that Trump’s tariffs and sanctions have punished American consumers.
The solution is that citizens of the European Union need better consumer liberty advocacy groups that can tell their leaders that enough is enough. People the world over seek a similar experience in any marketplace – they want the best quality goods for the best available price. Such considerations should not be limited to the vulgar nationalism of yesteryear and indeed for the vast majority of consumers, such notions never come into play.
The ironic reality is that in the 21st century, all governments spy on other governments and beyond this, most governments spy on their own citizens. This was true even before Edward Snowden revealed the extent to which US authorities spy on Americans. Furthermore, even if one were to believe the Sinophonic “security” canard, one has far more to fear regarding their own government spying on them than a foreign government doing so. This is true for the simple reason that while China cannot abuse the due process of a US or European citizen in America or Europe – the US and European governments certainly can do so and indeed have done so – just ask Julian Assange.
Thus, even if one was so naive as to believe that curtailing free and open market competition was motivated by actual security concerns rather than by corporate protectionism, even then the argument does not hold water as China could not detain or persecute someone in Europe or the US even if they wanted to do so.
This is why the time is now to call for greater consumer choice and greater protections to consumer liberty in both Europe and also the United States.