Ai-Da: © Guy Bell
Nothing gets us going at It’s Nice That on a Monday more than a good old fashioned “world’s first” story. More often than not, they’re pleasant reminders that human ingenuity knows no bounds. Today we’re bringing you a story which goes beyond humanity.
Ai-Da is the world’s first AI robot artist. Born out of the imagination of gallerist Aidan Meller, Ai-Da – named after computing pioneer Ada Lovelace – is, according to a statement issued to the press on February 10, “the first robot capable of drawing people from life using her eye, and a pencil in her bionic hand.” At last.
Designed by Engineered Arts, a Cornish robotics company who’ve previously worked on ultra-realistic promotional robots to drum up excitement about the return of HBO’s rootin’-tootin’ sci-fi series Westworld, Ai-Da was programmed by post-PhD geniuses from Oxford and Goldsmiths, and treated to a custom made bionic arm by students at the University of Leeds.
The statement, issued to celebrate the assembled achievements ahead of Ai-Da’s upcoming grand unveiling in May, goes on to note that the use of AI processes and variously comically complex algorithms, we will see a level of robotic drawing ability from sight, unlike anything anyone’s ever cast their eyes on before.
It will, they say, “make Ai-Da an artist in her own right as well as the first AI robot to create artwork without human input,” differing her from previous AI-powered artistically-minded feats of engineering.
Blessed with the ability to “talk and respond to questions,” Ai-Da will be making her first proper public appearance as part of Unsecured Futures, an exhibition to be held in Oxford in early May. We’re told that “Ai-Da will give a live performance at the opening, in homage to Yoko Ono’s ‘Cut Piece’ in reverse, where participating audience members will dress Ai-Da in fragments of material, to signify our close relationship between humanity and technology.” She will then exhibit sketches in London in November 2019.
Illustrators and arstists across the world: you just got a new competitor.