Archives: 21st June 2024

AIM at ACM Creativity & Cognition 2024

Creativity and Cognition conference logo 2024On 23rd-26th June, several AIM PhD students will participate in the 16th ACM Conference on Creativity and Cognition 2024 (C&C 2024). C&C is a leading international conference that brings together researchers and practitioners from various disciplines to explore technologies wide impacts on creativity, from designing and working with AI tools, to the social and cultural aspects of creativity.

The following paper received an honorable mention award at the conference:

The paper collects first-person accounts, interview and questionnaire measures, on how several AIM and C4DM researchers used AI tools of their choice in their music making, contributing descriptions of how they reflected when using AI generated content.

AIM members Ashley Noel-Hirst and Corey Ford are also co-authors of the paper:

The paper explores how an AI tool trained on a Folk dataset is used and appropriated by musicians in the genres of both, as a playful way to explore Human-AI Interaction.

The 2nd international workshop on eXplainable AI for the Arts is also run at the conference, co-organized by AIM members Corey Ford and Shuoyang Zheng. This workshop examines the challenges and opportunities at the intersection of explainable AI and the Arts, offering a critical view on the explainable aspects of Responsible AI and Human-Centred AI. With an accepted paper from AIM of:

  • A Mapping Strategy for Interacting with Latent Audio Synthesis Using Artistic Materials by Shuoyang Zheng, Anna Xambó Sedó and Nick Bryan-Kinns.

The paper describes how mapping sketches to the latent space of the audio synthesis RAVE model can be used to support temporal and cross-modal aspects of explainable AI. See this paper alongside other proceedings at

Corey Ford is also on the organising committee as a chair for Student Volunteers.

We hope to see you all at ACM C&C!

AIM at SMC 2024

Logo of SMC 2024 conferenceOn 4–6th July, several AIM PhD students will participate in the 2024 conference on Sound and Music computing (SMC 2024) in Porto, Portugal. With this years theme being ‘immersive’, the conference brings together interdisciplinary work from composers, scientists and other researchers tackling engagement with digital sound and music.

The Centre for Digital Music will be present with work ranging from piano transcription to latent audio models. We look forward to sharing the below papers, authored or co-authored by AIM members:

  • A Generative Framework for Composition-aware Loop Recommendation In Music Production: Drum2Bass Use Case, by Xiaowan Yi and Mathieu Barthet
  • Simulating Piano Performance Mistakes for Music Learning Context, by Alia Morsi (Universitat Pompeu Fabra), Huan Zhang, Akira Maezawa (Yamaha Corporation), Simon Dixon and Xavier Serra (Universitat Pompeu Fabra)
  • Temporal Analysis of Emotion Perception in Film Music: Insights from the FME-24 Dataset, by Ruby O.N Crocker and George Fazekas
  • Reconstructing the Charlie Parker Omnibook using an audio-to-score automatic transcription pipeline, by Xavier Riley and Simon Dixon

AIM Summer Retreat 2024

The AI & Music (AIM) Centre for Doctoral Training recently held its annual Summer Retreat in the picturesque village of Madingley, just outside of Cambridge, from 3rd to 5th June 2024. This serene location provided the perfect backdrop for a retreat designed to foster group cohesion among the diverse cohorts of PhD students specialising in a variety of research sub-fields.

Outdoors group photo of AIM members in front of the venue

A Retreat with a Purpose

An initiative led and organized by Jonathan Winfield and Dr Ekaterina Ivanova, the primary aim of the retreat was to build stronger connections within the AIM research group, integrating new PhD students with their more experienced peers. The event featured a series of structured activities that combined academic enrichment with social interaction, ensuring a well-rounded experience for all attendees.

Engaging Activities

Networking Opportunities

The retreat was kicked off by a session hosted by the Centre for Music and Science (CMS) at Cambridge University. The presentation was led by Dr Peter Harrsion, director of the Centre for Music and Science, and Prof. Simon Dixon, director of AIM CDT. In the spirit of interdisciplinary research and cooperation, such initiatives are crucial for current and future collaborative research among the research groups.

Later in the day, to facilitate networking among different cohorts, the retreat included a dynamic meet-and-greet session. Designed to promote interaction between new and senior PhD students, this session enabled participants to share experiences, insights, and advice in a relaxed, informal setting.

Poster Presentation Session

One of the highlights of the retreat was the poster presentation session. This platform allowed participants to showcase their research, receive constructive feedback, and engage in lively discussions with their peers. It was a valuable opportunity for students to refine their work and gain new perspectives.

Skill-Sharing Lightning Talks

Another significant feature of the retreat was the series of skill-sharing lightning talks. These short, focused presentations covered a wide range of topics, from practical coding practices and framework integration to essential non-technical skills like budgeting during a PhD and techniques for maintaining focus and productivity. The diversity of topics ensured that there was something of interest for everyone, enhancing the overall learning experience.

Inspirational Presentations

Inspiring talks were delivered by outgoing PhD students Saurjya Sarkar and Pedro Sarmento. They shared their journeys, addressing the challenges and expectations of pursuing a PhD, and offered invaluable advice on transitioning to a successful post-PhD career. “A PhD is not a sum of your citations, but a testament to your academic rigour”, says Pedro during his talk; a thought that resonated with everyone in the room. Their insights were both motivating and enlightening, providing current students with a roadmap for their own academic and professional paths.

Musical Interludes

Given the group’s shared passion for music, the retreat naturally included several music-related activities. Attendees enjoyed lively jam sessions and electronic music sets, creating a vibrant and creative atmosphere. Additionally, music-themed trivia quizzes added an element of fun and friendly competition, further strengthening the bonds among participants.

The AI & Music Summer Retreat was a resounding success, blending academic rigour with enjoyable social activities. It not only facilitated knowledge exchange and skill development but also fostered a sense of community and camaraderie among the PhD students. As the AIM research group continues to grow and evolve, events like this retreat will remain essential in nurturing a collaborative and supportive academic environment.