On the special occasion of IJCAI 2011. To be performed at the end of the Opening Ceremony at the Palau de la Música.
The unique performance of a thrilling musical tragi-comedy ...
Fragments of an Opera.
Luc Steels (music)
Oscar Vilarroya (libretto)
This is the story of a humanoid robot called Casparo who is bought by the greedy Graziano against the wishes of his wife Rosalinda. To Graziano's disappointment, Casparo turns out to be a developmental robot that needs to be taught everything, even how to walk or speak. Moreover Casparo has become imprinted on Rosalinda and consequently does not want to listen to Graziano. Graziano looses patience, becomes angry, and wants to reduce Casparo to a scrap of metal. But Rosalinda comes to Casparo's rescue and the story ends in harmony.
This unpretentious drama uses the esthetic of baroque music to explore fundamental issues and limitations of Artificial Intelligence and what might happen if autonomous robots start to interact with real people. The original score is performed by professional musicians from Barcelona. Robotic software technology (vision system, motor control programs, machine learning) and symbolic language technologies (language production and comprehension, ontological processing) are incorporated in live demonstrations.
Musical Production: Marta Vaquer
Musical Direction: Oriol Alguero
Duration: 45 minutes
LUC STEELS (musical composition) is one of the pioneers of European AI. He founded in 1983 the AI Laboratory of the University of Brussels (VUB) after studies in linguistics (at the University of Antwerp) and AI (at MIT). In the early nineteen eighties, he founded the Belgian AI association, was a member of the first board of ECCAI, co-founder of AI Communications (the premier ECAI journal), and chairman of the ECAI conference in Brighton (1986). In the 1980's he was particularly active in expert systems research (see e.g. his 'Components of Expertise' paper in AI Magazine, 1999) before breaking new ground in the nineties with behavior-based robotics (see e.g. Steels and Brooks (1995) The Artificial Life Route to Artificial Intelligence). In 1996 he founded and became director of the Sony Computer Science Laboratory in Paris. The past decade his work has focused on developing experiments in which humanoid robots autonomously develop human language like communication systems (cf. invited talk at IJCAI-2009). Most recent publications can be found in 'Steels, L. (ed.) (2011) Experiments in Cultural Language Evolution. John Benjamins Pub.co, Amsterdam). Among his earlier artistic output is the theatre play 'Le Cas de Sophie K.' performed at the Avignon Theatre Festival in 2005 and at the French National Theatre of Chaillot (Paris) in 2006, and visual art installations with Olafur Eliasson shown at the Musee d'art Moderne de Paris in 2005.



Luc Steels



OSCAR VILARROYA OLIVER (libretto) is a medical doctor and director of the Cognitive Neuroscience unit of the Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona (UAB), director of the Social Brain Chair and associate professor of psychiatry at the UAB. He uses neuro-imaging to investigate the neural bases of social behavior and language (see: 'Vilarroya, O. (2002) The dissolution of mind' Rodolpi, Amsterdam). He wrote several popular science books, including 'Palabra de robot'. Among his earlier artistic output are books with poems (De botxins i gots d'aigua. Micalet Prize 2002), novels (Prize Ferran Canyameres 2004), and a ballet script "Orion" performed by the choreographer Cesc Gelabert at the Mercat de les Flors in Barcelona in 2009.



Oscar Vilarroya



Rosalinda: Inés Moraleda, mezzosoprano
Casparo: Beverly Green, alto
Graziano: Pablo López, baritone

Elisa: Katrin Beuls
Tenor: Joan Baptista Mora

Music consultant and direction: Pere Josep Puértolas
Robotics and visualisation: Michael Spranger
Stage direction: Ana Silvestre
Scenary: Angela Bosch
Dream scene video: Lara Mennes & Carl Jacobs
Costumes: Lenie Steels

Conductor and concertino Oriol Algueró

Sergi Alpiste , Francesc Guzmán , Josep Mascaró, violin I, Javier Ulises Illán, María Ítaca Vicente, Jan Omedes, Tomàs Alcaide, violin II, Anna Aldomà, Albert Madero, Diana Franov, viola, Laia Puig, Griselda Messegué, cello, Álvaro Rosso, doublebass,

Sévérine Rospocher, flute, Jaume Sancho, clarinet, Bernat Farreras, oboe, Guillem Borras, bassoon.

Production: Marta Vaquer