Gaudeamus Igitur! A spinoff from the University of Padua called Audio Innova won the first prize in one of the most important European artificial intelligence festivals, the Cannes Neuron. A well-deserved victory, as meritorious is the project presented: "Yesterday sounds tomorrow: AI for preserving musical creativity". It is an app that aims at preserving audio documents.
How does it work?
The Italian startup has taken an important step forward in the use of artificial intelligence for the conservation of audio assets at risk of disappearing: we have millions and millions of magnetic tapes with recordings of all sorts. They are all in danger of disappearing, in parallel with the degradation of physical media. A real shame, when you consider the extraordinary progress that AI has made in the field of improving the quality of recordings, removing background noise or post-production.
To preserve magnetic tapes, sound recordings and other audio materials at risk of disappearing, Audio Innova has developed research techniques on audio materials found on the original analog medium, allowing to identify and categorize audio documents based on metadata. This technology will help conservators and musicologists find rare and valuable audio material in seconds, and has already been recognized as an international standard IPAM e IEEE.
Saving an audio heritage from destruction: the mission of all time
The award, obtained with a very large result (almost a plebiscite) has distant roots, and celebrates decades of tradition in the recovery of lost audio. The Center for Computational Sonology (CSC) of the University of Padua continues the studies begun in 1959 by Giovanni Battista Debiasi e Teresa Rampazzi, pioneers of research in music informatics.
"We are thrilled with the result," he says Sergio Canazza, sole director of Audio Innova. "Our project aims to bring all the cultural treasures of the past into the future, through sharing". I think so. The emphasis on culture is often overlooked in the field of artificial intelligence. Sometimes, it is mentioned only in relation to the ability of machines to create "art" increasingly similar to ours, even if not original.
A project like the one carried out by the team of the University of Padua shows the "good side" of AI. And that's why it deserves all the good and mention about Italy Next. From our old materials will come out priceless cultural treasures, which we don't even imagine. Good job, everyone!