The creators of the technology have worked to let it paint in a capable, humanoid way.
Ai-Da has become the first AI robot that has not only been created to look humanoid (still often called creepy, despite its realism), but also to paint in a way that could be considered artistic.
While the creators worked hard to make it a highly capable robotic artist, that wasn’t the main point.
The goal of the AI robot, according to those creators, is to draw society’s attention to the development of robotics and have a discussion about how we would want to interact with them.
“We haven’t spent eye-watering amounts of time and money to make a very clever painter,” explained Aidan Meller, the primary creator of Ai-Da as quoted by Global News. “This project is an ethical project.”
Ai-Da was first introduced in 2019. At that time, it was being used as a painter, sculptor and poet. Beyond its robotic arms, it was also created with a face that was meant to be highly realistic, right down to the room-scanning eyes that blink. It is the cameras behind those eyes that provide the information it requires for the artificial intelligence system to create various paintings and self-portraits.
The AI robot’s cameras target a subject and its algorithms prompt for the way it will proceed.
Based on what the camera eyes target, the artificial intelligence algorithms will prompt Ai-Da to “interrogate, select, decision-make and, ultimately, create a painting,” said the report.
The technology has yet to create completely original works. That said the process of about five hours in length does produce works that are unique from one another.
The discussion that has opened up so far surrounding this technology is whether or not the creations of Ai-Da can be considered works of art. If it can create based only on what is pre-existing, does that qualify it for artist status. This has also placed the spotlight on a question of whether any pieces of art created by human can truly be considered original or if they all have some basis in something pre-existing.
This discussion is certain to take off as the Ai-Da robot heads to its solo exhibition world premiere at the 2022 Venice Biennale taking place from April 23 through April 27.