An android robot conducted an orchestra for the first time in Seoul on Friday.
The performance: The robot, EveR 6, led the country’s national orchestra in performing three pieces at the Seoul Haeorum Grand Theater.
At the event, which was held by the National Orchestra of Korea, both EveR 6 and a human conductor, Choi Soo-yeoul, performed solo stages before ending with a collaborative performance. The robot bowed to the audience before successfully making movements with its arms to lead the orchestra in serenading attendees.
“Movements by a conductor are very detailed,” Choi told Reuters. “The robot was able to present such detailed moves much better than I had imagined. Rather than one replacing the other, I think the recital showed that robots and humans can coexist and complement each other.”
EveR 6’s weaknesses: Despite EveR 6’s notable performance, Choi and audience members believe the robot can still be improved.
“EveR 6’s critical weakness is that it cannot listen,” Choi said, noting that he and musicians had “to put a lot of effort into understanding the robot,” according to Reuters.
Lee Young-ju, an audience member who studies Korean traditional music, said that the humanoid robot lacked “breath” or the ability to collectively and instantly direct the orchestra.
“It seemed there was some work to be done for the robot to do the job,” Lee was quoted saying.
About EveR 6: The humanoid robot was developed by the Korea Institute of Industrial Technology last year. It is modeled after the human body and is capable of emotional expressions.
Other robot conductors around the globe include the 2008 Asimo by Honda, the 2017 Yumi in Switzerland, the 2018 second-generation Artificial Intelligence robot Alter 2 in Japan and the 2020 third-generation robot Alter 3.