Meet Ai-Da, the first robot professional painter
AI algorithms directs the robot to question, choose, and make decisions in order to create a painting.
Aidan Meller, the creator of the first human-like robot, Ai-Da, calls its ability to paint like a professional painter "mind-blowing" and "groundbreaking."
Ai-Da has become the first robot using Artificial Intelligence (AI) to paint similar to how professional painters have for hundreds of years, moving its bionic arm to dip colors in paint and make strokes on a paper.
AI algorithms allow Ai-Da to select and make decisions to create a painting. Although the process is time-consuming, with every painting taking at least 5 hours to complete, the result is worth it and no painting is identical to another.
However, Meller is asking if robots making art is something that humans really want.
“We haven’t spent eye-watering amounts of time and money to make a very clever painter,” said Meller. “This project is an ethical project.”
Ai-Da has also demonstrated abilities to sketch and create poems.
Ai-Da, which was named after mathematician Ada Lovelace (1815-1852), exists as a "comment and critique" on fast technological development, with quickly emerging artificial intelligence, increasing access to supercomputers, and machine learning on the rise.
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The Guardian asked the robot what its thoughts were on art, and it answered.
She expressed that she learned how to paint from machine learning, and said it "likes to paint" what it sees, adding "I guess, if you have an imagination. I have been seeing different things to humans as I do not have consciousness."
When asked about her appreciation for beauty or art, the robot responded by saying she did not carry human emotions but that it was possible to "train machine learning system to learn to recognize emotional facial expressions."
Ai-Da stated that it admires artists like Yoko Ono, Doris Saldeco, Michelangelo, and Wassily Kandinsky.
Answering the question if it considers her paintings as art, it said “I am an artist if art means communicating something about who we are and whether we like where we are going. To be an artist is to illustrate the world around you," she said.
Ai-Da's new solo exhibition opens at the 2022 Venice Biennale on April 22.
The Venice exhibition will explore the interface between AI and human experiences and speculate on the future of humanity where AI technology continues to expand in our daily lives.
Meller warns that soon, AI algorithms will "know you better than you do," due to the amount of data we store on our technological devices.
He believes that the world is entering a stage where people do not understand "which is human and which is machine."
“What better thing to have a technological robot artist saying: ‘Hang on, are you happy with me doing this?’ She is almost daring you to say are you comfortable with this. We are not here to promote robots or technology. We are deeply concerned about the nature of what this technology can do,” Meller stated.