Freshman Gold Medal

Recently, Nazar Ponochevnyi, a first-year student of Institute of Physics and Technology of Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute, received a gold medal at the AIGC-2019 Global Innovation Competition. The competition was held in Singapore. It gathered about 200 participants from 20 countries; 17-year-old Nazar received a high award for innovation – the Harmix program. The correspondent of “Kyiv Polytechnic” talked with Nazar Ponochevnyi.

Nazar Ponochevnyi

– What is the essence of your innovation?

– Harmix is ​​a service that automatically selects music for a video clip, carries out a task of background music for videos. The name Harmix itself is formed from the roots of the English words harmonious and mix, that is, “harmonious combination.” For this, together with the team, I created artificial intelligence, which learned to harmoniously combine video and music on the most successful movies and videos. First, you upload your video, and then the system analyzes it, connects to the database, listens to millions of songs and selects the perfect composition specifically for your video. If a professional composer and video editor spend an average of 4 minutes on selecting music for a video, then my service is able to complete such a task in less than two minutes.

And will it give you one or more options?

– The system can produce several options for musical accompaniment of videos.

Does Harmix select from well-known tunes or can create unique compositions?

– Now the service selects from the library, and in the future, the system will be able to independently come up with its own, exclusive version of the combination of music and video.

– Are you going to take away the orders from many composers that they received from filmmakers, producers?

– Not at all. Our system is likely to work together with the composer. Harmix will carry out a monotonous, routine work, and the composer will solve the creative task to turn his plan into reality.

– A few words about your team...

– Our team consists of six people. There are developers, managers, designers in it. We work in remote mode and communicate mainly online; sometimes, if necessary, we meet. I am the leader of this group and the author of the project. In our team I am the only one who studies in Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute, there are those that have already graduated from their universities.

– And what was the path to the gold medal at the innovation contest in Singapore?

– I have been programming for six years now. At first, I developed websites, after that I studied a programming language (I started with courses and after that self-education), books, and sometimes I attended special courses. I graduated from Kyiv specialized school No. 52 with advanced study of IT technology. I have many friends with whom I communicate and can consult while working on some kind of problem. The first step to victory in Singapore was the participation in the National Intel-Techno Ukraine Competition, which is organized and held based on Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute. As a result of this competition, the jury recommended me to participate in the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair 2019 in the United States as part of the Ukrainian team. In addition, in this competition, where more than 1800 participants from 80 countries of the world took part, I took the fourth medal place and received two special prizes. Moreover, I was one of the winners at the VIII Festival of innovative projects “Sikorsky Challenge 2019”. Finally, it was then when I got the right to participate in the AIGC-2019 Global Innovation Competition in Singapore.

– In the competitions you mentioned, did you present the same project?

– Yes, I have been working on Harmix for over a year now. In the USA, it was presented as a scientific project, and in Singapore as a commercial startup. My team and I improved it, created several different interfaces, a mobile application, and uploaded the system to the server. Now we are testing Harmix with composers, video editors. We plan to release the service for wide use in three months.

– Why did you choose Igor Sikorsky Polytechnic Institute for you education?

– The selection for participation in Intel ISEF was held based on the Institute of Physics and Technology of Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute, so I talked a lot with its professors. The communication was interesting and informative, which made my choice regarding university entry, and it was this institute.

– And how do you study?

– In general, neither very difficult, nor too easy. Let us say programming comes naturally to me. Sometimes there is a lack of time and therefore I try to balance the forces for studying and working on the project.

– How do you spend your free time?

– I do not go to parties. I write electronic music, do combat sambo (3rd place in the Kyiv Cup among juniors). I serve in the Pentecostal church, in the worship group. In general, I adhere to the rule: to relax, you only need to change the type of activity.

– A few words about the family?

– My mom is a composer, she writes songs. Father works with cars. I have a brother and sister younger than me.

– And, finally, what about the short-range plans?

– Today, the Harmix service is being tested by composers, video editors. Therefore, the short-range plan is to analyze their reviews, improve the system and launch the Harmix service for widespread use.