Dimitri Vassilakis, Gil Weinberg
Shimon Robot & Friends Jazz and Artificial Intelligence: The Shimon robot, the idea and the vision
Jazz, as a universal language of great complexity and a strong storytelling nature, resembles natural language, as this is expressed in spontaneous prose, poetry and creative writing. Dimitri Vassilakis’ research is called jazz mapping: It concerns the mapping of the language of jazz and aims to highlight its narrative character, by offering to artificial intelligence the necessary tools for understand the process of machine learning. The research is carried out at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (EKPA) and the “Demokritos” National Centre for Scientific Research, in collaboration with the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) in the USA, where the Shimon robot is being developed. The concert-presentation at Megaron includes compositions written specifically for the Simon robot by Gil Weinberg, its creator, and Dimitri Vassilakis. The ensemble is composed of saxophone, trumpet, piano, bass, drums, guitar and laptop. As a member of the jazz ensemble, the Shimon Robot accompanies and improvises both on the marimba and by singing.
Shimon is a robotic marimba player developed by the Robotic Musicianship Group at Georgia Tech Center for Music Technology. It uses AI and machine learning to listen to, understand, respond to, and collaborate with human musicians. The concert at the Megaron in Athens will be the first international demonstration of Shimon’s new singer-song-writing capabilities. Trained on a large dataset of lyrics from different genres, Shimon will perform songs that it wrote, featuring its novel synthesized voice.
As far as the research part is concerned, “Pasipphe’s Dance” from the award-winning album “Labyrinth – Daedalus Project” for the historic Candid Records – re-released with bonus tracks Live at Birdland New York – will be presented, in which Shimon Robot will improvise based on the data from the “jazz mapping” research of D. Vassilakis in the postgraduate program of the Department of Music Studies of the National & Kapodistrian University of Athens in collaboration with Georgia Tech and National Centre for Scientific Research DEMOKRITOS.
With the support of the U.S. Embassy in Athens
In collaboration with NCSR Demokritos
Dimitri Vassilakis saxophones, compositions, jazz mapping research, orchestration, original concept
Gil Weinberg creator of the Shimon Robot, Georgia Tech professor, compositions, original concept
Shimon Robot marimba, voice
with the participation of researchers and students of Georgia Tech & EKPA, attending the postgraduate program “Jazz Improvisation and New Technologies” and the National Institute for Scientific Research DEMOCRITOS