Nearly 200 years after his death, the German composer’s musical scratch was pieced together by machine—with a lot of human help.
Every morning at five o’clock, composer Walter Werzowa would sit down at his computer to anticipate a particular daily e-mail. It came from six time zones away, where a team had been working all night (or day, rather) to draft Beethoven’s unfinished 10th Symphony—almost two centuries after his death. The e-mail contained hundreds of variations, and Werzowa listened to them all.
Werzowa was listening for the perfect tune—a sound that was unmistakably Beethoven. But the phrases he was listening to weren’t composed by Beethoven. They were created by artificial intelligence—a computer simulation of Beethoven’s creative process.