Ai-Da, the world’s first ultra-realistic humanoid AI robot artist, was created by gallery director Aidan Meller and named after scientist Ada Lovelace. Ai-Da works as an artist, drawing, sculpting, and creating collaborative artworks with humans.
Since opening her first solo show “Unsecured Futures” at the Barn Gallery, St John’s College, University of Oxford in the summer of 2019, Ai-Da has attracted a lot of attention. She has been on Good Morning Britain and BBC’s The One Show, as well as performing at international events such as Arts Electronica in Austria, Harper’s Bazaar in Dubai, the V&A in London, and the Design Museum in London.
Ai-Da is now on display at “Forever Is Now,” Egypt’s First Contemporary Art Exhibition in 4500 Years at the Giza Pyramids and surrounding Giza Plateau. The 4th annual show is organised by Art D’Égypte and is supported by the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities and Tourism, the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and UNESCO.
Salaheldin Al Abd and Ziad Abass, both undergraduate students in the School of Electronic and Electrical Engineering at the University of Leeds, collaborated on Ai-arms. Da’s Salah and Ziad created Ai-painting Da’s arm and the AI algorithms that allow her to make human-like drawings in the style of 20th-century artists like Pablo Picasso and Max Beckmann.
Ai- Da gets detained
Aidan Meller, an Oxford art dealer and entrepreneur who is also the representative and developer of Ai-Da, the world’s first ultra-realistic robot artist, has had a very difficult ten days. Ai-Da was apprehended on her way to Egypt, where she was scheduled to exhibit her own artwork at the Great Pyramid of Giza as part of an art event.
Report says, Ai-Da was released, but not before her condition provoked a minor diplomatic incident between Egypt and the United Kingdom. According to Meller, Egyptian customs authorities were concerned that Ai-Da would be used for espionage as a result of the camera in her eyes and the built-in modem, and they would not listen to reason – or explanations that she only used them to sketch pictures of living persons.
Ai-Da is widely regarded as the world’s first ultra-realistic robot artist, however she is far from the only one. She was designed by Meller in collaboration with Engineered Arts, a robotics firm, and debuted in 2019. She has drawing intelligence produced by the University of Oxford, as well as a sketching arm created by Leeds engineers. With the camera in her eyes, Ai-Da – a “woman” with everyone involved in the project – looks at objects and then sketches them with her robotic arm. She can also talk, as the second video at the bottom of the website demonstrates.
Because one of Ai-pieces Da’s will be displayed in the Egypt show, she was invited to participate as an artist. Meller claims that she was held upon arrival and that customs authorities requested that the cameras in her eyes be turned off. Meller explained that he couldn’t “gauge out” her eyes since that’s how she created art, and she’d look awkward without them.
“She is an artist robot, let’s be really clear about this,” Meller said. “She is not a spy. People fear robots, I understand that. But the whole situation is ironic, because the goal of Ai-Da was to highlight and warn of the abuse of technological development, and she’s being held because she is technology. Ai-Da would appreciate that irony, I think.”
Just in time for the art display, Ai-Da was launched. Meller pointed out that she was incapacitated for the time of her unplanned stay with customs, thus the experience wasn’t very upsetting.
Despite the jokes, Ai-Da is regarded as a skilled artist, especially by robot standards. Her art has been shown in worldwide galleries and is influenced by cubism and expressionism.