Generative AI is one of the most recent advancements in artificial intelligence technology. Artificial intelligence is capable of generating text, images, or other media in response to prompts. From Photoshop to Chat GPT, the world is integrating Generative AI more and more into everyday use.

Here at Parsons, we are leading in developing AI standards that will drive how efficiently we solve our customers’ most complex challenges. Our projects that now involve AI span our business, from Defense and Intelligence to Critical Infrastructure applications.  

Battle Of The AI Bands

We want to spark curiosity and innovation in our employees every day. This year, the Defense & Intelligence (D&I) team focuses on Generative AI, an aspect of AI and Machine Learning (ML) that some of our employees hadn’t explored before. The Guild, D&I’s internal employee up-skilling organization, partnered with Amazon Web Services (AWS) to introduce the Battle of the AI Bands competition to enable that exploration.

Battle of the AI Bands specifically focused on using generative AI in a fun and unique way. Employees across the company created teams (bands) and were challenged to compose their own melodies using AWS Deep Composer. By presenting it as a team event, we fostered collaboration among employees from different corners of the company, bringing them together to form bands and participate in the competition with colleagues they had not previously collaborated with.

51 bands with over 100 employees signed up to craft unique songs using Deep Composer. The platform uses generative AI, Convolutional Neural Networks (CNNs), transformers, and Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs) to build complete, unique musical tracks based on a melody input by the user. Our employees used these AI models to create over 1,500 distinct songs and chose their best ones to submit to the final competition.

AWS classifies “good participation” among companies in this competition style at around 5%, we saw participation between 30% and 40%! We had 20 bands submit their favorite song creation for the final competition, where fellow employees judged them on the best song, band name and logo, album, and overall composition. Employees voted once weekly for the band of their choice for four weeks and had over 800 individual votes across the four categories.

All Hands On Deck

Battle of the AI Bands isn’t just drawing in participation from those who choose to join a band and compose a song. The competition involved people from every aspect of the business joining in on the fun. Our IT Department dedicated their time to ensuring all accounts were up and running, D&I funded the competition – open to all employees – and the judges were Parsons employees from every sector. This competition was a fun way to learn about Generative AI and its capabilities and bring employees together through unconventional methods.

The Winners

The winning bands were announced during an awards ceremony reminiscent of the Grammies, with announcers including the designer of the competition, Jenn Bergstrom, and several other senior leaders from D&I, including D&I CTO Ryan Gabriele, Rich Hull, and John Stasulli. The top 3 bands in each category were announced, followed by the winning band for each category. Each nominated band was present during the ceremony, and awardees were invited to take the stage for thank yous and celebrations of their victory. The winning bands for each category are shown below. Each member of the winning bands will receive a music-themed prize package, including prizes like band shirts, custom-cut vinyl of the submitted tracks, and Guild and AWS swag!

Congratulations to all who participated; your innovation and creativity struck the perfect chord, leaving us in awe. 🎶👏

Best Song Winner: Starstruck- Recursive Rhapsody

Band Members: Vinni Bhatia, Katie Seiter, Sean Landess, and Angel Moncada

Best Band Name and Logo Winner: Squirrels on Fire

Band Members: Christin Young, Melissa Kletzker, Amy Pieper, and Mary Anderson

Best Album Name and Art: Peanut Butter + Jam

Band Members: Tiffany Jackson, Jeffery Gran, Brillana Castillo, and Rocio Razzo-Mapou

Best in Class: Starstruck

Band Members: Vinni Bhatia, Katie Seiter, Sean Landess, and Angel Moncada

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