Source: Henry Donovan Motif UK

AI Transparency Institute

The AI Transparency Institute is a non-profit organization based in Switzerland. Founded in December 2018, it works to promote trusted artificial intelligence in the service of sustainable development goals and future generations. The institute has three main missions: education, research and legal watch. The concert is part of the Institute’s educational mission. Art encourages the transmission of knowledge. By touching hearts, it transforms them and encourages reflection. Since 2019, the institute has organized an annual international conference on the governance of artificial intelligence, bringing together players from different backgrounds (industry, academia, institutions, civil society, research, …). The AI Transparency Institute has organized an art exhibition in Switzerland in 2021 at the Arboretum du Vallon de l’Aubonne, featuring the digital art of Refik Anadol. 

Organizing committee and project team

Éva Thélisson | Strategic Direction

Passionate about art and science, Éva Thélisson is the initiator of this project. From 2018 to 2023, she was president of the AI Transparency Institute, which she co-founded with Hidenori Yoshizumi, a Japanese artificial intelligence researcher. As music and human suffering are universal and timeless themes, she decided to launch this international project in favor of world peace. She holds a Master’s degree in management and international business law from ESSEC Business School in Paris, and a doctorate in law from the University of Freiburg. In November 2021, she is creating and producing the art exhibition Data Blossom, at the Arboretum du vallon de l’Aubonne with the support of local actors from the canton of Vaud and three artists: Refik Anadol, Kyrel Benzi and Florent Lavergne. This zero-carbon exhibition, which uses hydraulic power from the Arboretum dam managed by SEFA, invited the inhabitants of Romandie to discover the origins of digital art, their graphic representations and have fun with data. This unusual encounter between art, science and nature drew more than 2,000 people over 10 days, to great acclaim from the press and social networks.

Béa Droz | Artistic Direction

The Swiss soprano Béa Droz was immersed in music from an early age, playing the cello before devoting herself to singing. She first trained with Barbara Locher at the Lucerne University of Music, then completed a Master’s degree in performance at the Zurich University of the Arts in Werner Güra’s class. She has furthered her knowledge in masterclasses with Malcolm Walker, Sandra Trattnigg and Raymond Connell, among others, and is currently being coached by French soprano Christine Schweitzer. She is involved in this project as artistic director, thanks to her artistic and organizational skills. She has organized several artistic projects in the Swiss music scene since 2016, including the 2018 world premiere of “Love, we must part now” a cycle of melodies composed by Swiss musician Valentin Villard.

Patrice Droz | Project Advisor

Patrice Droz is a civil engineer with more than 40 years of experience and a track record in dam design, rehabilitation and safety. He graduated at EPFL in 1982 and obtained a PhD, also at EPFL, in 1987. After a post-doc at Northwestern University (USA), he oriented his activities towards consulting engineering.  He has been involved in many projects in Switzerland and worldwide, particularly in China, DR Congo, France, Georgia, Haiti, Iran, Kirghizstan, Libya, Morocco, Myanmar, Philippines, Portugal, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkey, Ukraine and Zambia. Besides his activities of consulting engineer, he has been teaching “Water Resources Management” at EPFL for 20 years. Presently, as independent, he is involved in the Dam Safety Technical and Institutional Assistance project in Lao PDR, a project financed by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation. As the President of the Chœur de la Cité de Lausanne since 2014, he brings to this endeavor his expertise in project management, in particular his extensive experience with projects abroad.

Alexandre Pican | Consultant

Born into a musical family in 1994, a “typical geek” and a lifelong fan of epic music, Alexandre Pican began by obtaining his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in engineering from the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne in 2019. Alongside his studies, he trained in music, notably choral art as a singer and director, before founding the very first Epic Music association (a genre combining music from films, video games and TV series) in Switzerland. He also joins the committee of the Association Vaudoise des Directeurs de Chœur (2020) and the Conférence des Sociétés Chorales Vaudoises de Concerts (2021), two major players in the choral arts in Switzerland. A succession of encounters and musical events soon followed, leading Alexandre into his element: cultural projects. After obtaining Project Manager Professional certification from the Project Management Institute in 2020, Alexandre reoriented his engineering career to focus on team and project management, in the service of artists and culture. His experience and atypical profile as an engineer-artist led him to become a trainer with Romandie Formation, coaching dozens of future project managers from all backgrounds every year. Today, Alexandre is involved in numerous artistic and technical projects, enabling him to collaborate with experts from all over the world, while keeping a very special place for Epic Music. In this project, Alexandre brings his expertise and mastery of the world of project management applied to cultural events.

Hannes Bleuler | Japan Contact

Holder of the Toshiba Chair of Intelligent Mechatronics at the University of Tokyo, Department of Industrial Science and Precision Engineering, he has been a regular associate professor and full professor of robotics at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) since 1995. His laboratory has produced over 30 doctoral theses in the fields of mechatronics, microtechnology, robotics and, more recently, biomedical robotics, surgical instrumentation and haptic interfaces. In 2008-2009, he was Section Head of the Microtechnology Department. Since his retirement (2019) as a professor at EPFL, he has been active at the Institute of Medical Robotics at Shanghai Jiaotong University, and is a member of the selection committee for the Nagamori Prize (Nidec, Japan). Thanks to his linguistic and cultural knowledge, he acts as an intercultural facilitator for the organization of the project.

Florian Colombo | AI Consultant

Through his training, interests, and achievements, Florian Colombo evolves on the common frontier between music and science. A cellist from Lausanne, he obtained his doctorate at École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) in 2021 for his research into artificial intelligence and musical composition. In September 2021, the Nexus Orchestra discovered the score of BeethovANN 10.1 created by Florian’s algorithms on the morning of the concert. Florian has been playing regularly in various orchestras and chamber music ensembles for over 20 years. In 2013, he founded the Lausanne Student Chamber Orchestra. In 2023, he joined the committee of the University Chamber Music Association and co-founded the music collective Ada Lemania. For this project, Florian Colombo proposes to put his experience at the service of computer-assisted musical composition. He is taking part in the creation of the score, which incorporates elements relating to peace. In cooperation with AIVA, a company that has developed a music generation tool, he will provide the performers with a score.

Himanshu Verma | Digital Support

Himanshu Verma is Assistant Professor of Human-Centred Artificial Intelligence in the Knowledge and Intelligence Design Group of the Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering at Delft University of Technology. He holds a doctorate in computer science from the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL). His research lies at the intersection of human-computer interaction, pervasive computing and social cognition. He focuses in particular on the study of the internal mechanisms that support or inhibit collaboration, and on the way in which they can be supported by technological means. In recent years, his research has focused on the study of collaboration between humans and AI and how AI can help humans. Himanshu Verma is an expert on all issues relating to digital technologies and human-computer interaction, including the creation of the Symphony of Deep Layers.

Sakura Suzuki | Organization in Japan

Sakura Suzuki is a multilingual and multicultural language specialist and musician based in Tokyo, Japan. She has over nine years of experience in language and musical coaching and is also active in performing and organizing concerts. She has performed with renowned maestros: Sigvards Kļava, Frieder Bernius, Masaaki Suzuki, and Kenichiro Kobayashi, to name a few. She holds several certificates including, Harvard X: Exercising Leadership certificate and Examination of Proficiency in English for Medical Purposes (Advanced Level). She received a Bachelor of Arts in Music degree from San Jose State University.