DT dispatches Robbie Williams and an AI Beethoven to MWC

robbie willams AI beethoven

German MNO Deutsche Telekom will kick off Mobile Word Congress with a collaboration between Robbie Williams and an AI facsimile of Beethoven, in what is definitely not a publicity stunt.

AI boffins apparently created the ‘Beethoven X project’ in order to complete Ludwig van Beethoven’s 10th Symphony, and now they have used the same algorithmic system to rearrange Robbie Williams 90’s warbler Angels in the style of the composer, whatever that means.

Why has the telco decide to recruit Robbie Williams and robo-Beethoven to spearhead its MWC push? The release explains: “For Deutsche Telekom, digital responsibility is an inseparable part of digitization. That is why the company repeatedly focuses on the challenges of new technologies. For example, how they interact with us humans. How creative can artificial intelligence be, for example? Deutsche Telekom is now exploring this question with world star Robbie Williams.”

Of course they are.

Beethoven can’t comment on his archetypal musical style being replicated digitally using AI in order to promote telecoms services because he died in 1827 and wouldn’t know what any of that means, but Robbie Williams from Take That said: “Angels obviously has a very special place in my heart. I’m looking forward to the preview of this interesting version on February 28th at Mobile World Congress. For me, it’s fascinating how much technology is now enabling art.”

Claudia Nemat, who has the laborious job title of Member of the Board of Management for Technology and Innovation at Deutsche Telekom, said “As Telekom, we are driving digitization forward. For us, this also means consciously focusing on the potential and opportunities offered by technology. And also creating new solutions in creative processes. That’s why we’re particularly excited to explore the possibilities of AI and creativity together with Robbie Williams on one of the best songs in pop history.”

There will be a ‘pre-listening’ event at MWC on February 28th. We’re not sure what a pre-listening event is, nor at what point the crowd transcends to a ‘listening’ and ‘post-listening‘ temporal state. But if you are curious you can check it out and then watch a talk with Robbie Williams, Angels co-writer Guy Chambers, Claudia Nemattry, and project manager Matthias Röder, as they try to explain what it is they are playing at and how it relates to the telecoms sector.


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