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"Arido Taurajo" (2018-ongoing) an operatic music video produced through human-AI collaboration by James Morgan, Maya Ackerman

"Arido Taurajo” is a collaboration of artist, vocalist, engineer, translator, director and editors. and “Roboccini”, a machine learning algorithm Morgan and Ackerman created and trained on the music of Giacomo Puccini.

Cloaked in a multiplayer game, it tells the story of Dahlia, a female warrior from World of Warcraft, in an aria sung by Maya Ackerman. Dahlia is struggling to balance her family life with the call to adventure. She greets Doras and sets out on a windrider, singing as she crosses the walls of the city and flies out over the fields, navigating the Barrens landscape on her way home to have dinner and say goodnight to her child and husband before she goes raiding with her guild for the evening.

James Morgan and Maya Ackerman discuss their music video "Arido Taurajo", human-AI creative collaboration. As machine learning takes on the visual qualities of artists’ labor, we may be forced to look again at what we mean by “artist." Further to this, machine learning tools can delve into humanist topics in new ways that touch people’s imagination and understanding.


James Morgan is an artist, researcher, and on the faculty of the CADRE Laboratory for New Media, the hub of Digital Media Art activity at San José State University, Department of Art & Art History. He works with virtual environments and artificial intelligence in Silicon Valley.

Maya Ackerman is a computer scientist known for her research in cluster analysis and algorithmic composition of music, and a vocalist. She is a leading expert on Artificial Intelligence and Computational Creativity and Professor of Computer Science and Engineering at Santa Clara University in California.

"Arido Taurajo" (2018-ongoing)
Singer: Maya Ackerman
Director, lyrics, roboccini collaborator: James Morgan
Music accompaniment: Nicolas Mauthes
Machinima cinematographer: Chantal Harvey
Italian translation: Matteo Leva
Arido Taurajo melody: Roboccini
AI songwriting (Roboccini) research and development:
Maya Ackerman
David Loker
Christopher Cassion

ALYSIA ( Automated LYrical SongwrIting Application) was used to create the Italian aria. We trained our songwriting system on Puccini music, calling the resulting system ROBOCCINI.

This feature story has been produced by Streaming Museum for the 2022 Split Film Festival, Split, Croatia.

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