The idea was not lacking in panache. There was even pride. Huawei, the giant of mobile technology in china, has decided to pay a genius of classical music to be a publicity stunt. With a challenge: finish the unfinished Symphony of Franz Schubert through a program of artificial intelligence of its latest smartphone. Written in 1822, the eighth symphony – the seventh, according to some classifications, the composer has two movements, against four usually. Huawei has also written two new.

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Of the built-in tools to smartphone – enhanced for the occasion -, fed a hundred partitions of the composer suggested musical structures. Lucas Cantor, contemporary composer, has operated a choice between these possibilities. He is the music of the Olympic games in Salt Lake City and the soundtrack to a shop Kenzo. Little information has been data on the distribution of roles of the machine and the musician. The list of works that have inspired the software has not been disclosed.

After six months of work, the result was presented Monday at Cadogan Hall in London in front of 500 journalists from the european press. The London Philharmonic Orchestra, announced at the beginning, was replaced, without explanation, by the English Session Orchestra.

Schubert assassinated

“The result is perplexing,” said Vincent Agrech, a music critic at the Diapason . A bit of an understatement. In the third movement, the journalist has found accents Scottish Mendelssohn, the Moldau of Smetana. No Schubert in sight. In the fourth movement, he noted a small improvement, before an epic finale worthy of a trailer of Assassin’s Creed – and for good reason, Lucas Cantor has signed a. “There is never the charm, the delicacy of Schubert”, abounds Claire Fleury of the New Obs , which has believed to have heard the “tunes of the celts and the Debussy”. The Echoes , Rémy Demichelis, there is a scent of West Side Story of Leonard Bernstein.

the Appearance of the first symptoms of syphilis, concentration of other texts, deliberate choice… The mystery remains to explain the abrupt stop of Schubert in his writing of the Symphony no. 8 . He died six years later, in 1828.

Huawei in turmoil

“The artificial intelligence can do more for humanity. This is only the beginning,” lance proudly Huawei in the trailer of his project. For the moment, the firm, which has the ambition to become the number 1 in the world, is in turmoil. Multiple suspicions of collusion with the intelligence services of the chinese weigh in on it. The chief financial officer and daughter of the founder of the group, Meng Wanzhou, has recently been arrested by the american police for fraud and industrial espionage.

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In December, the british Defence minister Gavin Williamson has expressed his very deep concern” at the announcement of the participation of Huawei in the deployment of the 5G in the Uk. Not sure whether this parenthesis musical failed to soften the mood of his detractors.