Hélder Pereira & Carlos Semedo

Can computers enjoy their own music?

Music has been a part of humanity for longer than we can imagine. Archaeologists have dug up flutes that have seen 40 millennia pass since lips last touched them, and there’s evidence that percussion and singing have been with us for even longer. Today, music continues to contribute meaning, expression and joy to cultures across the world. Computers and AI are often presented as machines only capable of doing what they are told. They are programmed by humans, in service to them, and apparently lacking the inspiration necessary to produce and enjoy music and other art forms. In this talk, we challenge this view – exploring how music might one day not be the preserve of humans, but also something Artificial Intelligence is able to create and appreciate with the same kind of artistic talent.

About the speakers 

Helder Pereira, VP of Engineering

Helder studied Informatics Engineering at Universidade do Minho and holds an MSC in Informatics Engineering from the same university, with a particular expertise in telecommunications. His love for keyboards started at an early age, first with musical instruments and then with computers. He started his career as a computer programmer and is currently the VP of Engineering at Critical Links, where he helps develop software that makes it easier to connect students to knowledge. His interests include calisthenics, mountain biking and books.

Carlos Pedro Semedo, Freelance Musician

Carlos studied Mathematics at the Faculdade de Ciências de Universidade do Porto and the University of Manchester, sometime around the turn of the century. Soon after he began studying the Portuguese Guitar at the Conservatório de Música do Porto, with a stint at Escola de Música e Artes do Espectáculo (in Porto). Carlos has been teaching music since retiring from teaching mathematics in 2011, while simultaneously working as a performer – both as soloist and in different chamber setups, experimenting with contemporary music. He also likes choral singing and dancing.