“I think a good artist encourages people to reimagine and think more carefully about the world.” – Ai-Da.
Ai-Da, named after Ada Lovelace, is the world’s first ultra-realistic artist robot. With cameras placed in both her eyes, an AI algorithm, and a robotic arm, she makes drawings, paintings, sculptures. But, in a recent exhibition at Oxford “Dante: The Invention of Celebrity”, Ai-Da recited a poem written by “her.”
Aidan Meller, with the collaboration of Engineered Arts, a robotics company invented the ‘World’s first ultra-realistic artist robot.’ The project was completed in April 2019. Computer AI researchers at Oxford University developed her drawing intelligence. As for her robotic arms, they were made by engineers from Leeds.
In an interview, when asked the creator, what inspired him? He mentioned, that one day, he had “a radically unpleasant thought” that the paintings hung on the walls by Picasso, Matisse, Turner, and Constable weren’t good enough. Which eventually, led him to believe that there was something these artists did differently than others and which helped them succeed. But after tons of research for three months, he was nowhere. But after his partner’s advice, who pointed out that he wasn’t “asking the right questions.” A question clicked in his mind. He said, “Don’t look at the art and artist. Look at their context, look at the society they were in. They caught the zeitgeist of their time.” Adding, “Well, what’s gonna happen in next five to ten years?” And the answer he came up with was “The role and rise of AI.”
Ai-Da’s first live solo performance was at, University of Oxford. She then continues to draw, paint and sculpt. Her paintings have been sold more than a million dollars worth of art. Aiden and Lucy (Ai-Da Curator and Researcher), confirmed in an interview, that the technical team worked to program creativity into Ai-Da. They intended her work to be genuine.
Ai-Da read Dante’s Divine Comedy and after analyzing his writing patterns with the help of her algorithm, she created her own poem, which includes the following verse:
“We looked up from our verses like blindfolded captives,
Sent out to seek the light; but it never came
A needle and thread would be necessary
For the completion of the picture.
To view the poor creatures, who were in misery,
That of a hawk, eyes sewn shut.”
Meller described Ai-Da’s work to be “so great, if you read it you wouldn’t know that it wasn’t written by a human.”