At the 59th Venice Biennale of the Arts from April 22, art lovers can see something truly amazing: the Ai-Da drawing robot.
Ai-Da is the world’s first humanoid robot artist. The robot was first introduced in 2019 at Oxford University. The special thing about Ai-Da: Each board is unique.
Ai-Da creator and developer, Aidan Meller, explained at the launch: “The work you do is new each time. If I had pictured them for you twice, they would be completely different images.”
The performance at the Venice Gallery aims to showcase Ai-Da’s growing talent as an artist. She made her first drawing in 2019 at Oxford University.
She held a pen in her robotic hand and used algorithms to draw images based on what she could see with the eyes of a camera. She collects and processes information over and over again using ever-increasing algorithms – “knowing” it, so to speak – and creates artworks.
Its first self-portrait follows in 2021 and Venice will display its first paintings, like their human counterparts with a true color palette and a new state-of-the-art arm. The highlight of the exhibition will be the live Ai-Da drawing, in which the robot will draw four portraits during springtime.
Almost intimidating: Ai-Da can also talk – and answer questions critically. At the beginning of April, the British newspaper “The Guardian” asked the robot questions about its relationship to art.
For example, Ai-Da responded that she used machine learning to teach her to draw and that it was “different from humans.” Can you paint from imagination? “I paint what I see. I think you can draw from imagination if you have imagination. But I see things differently because I have no consciousness.”
Ai-Da raises very interesting questions. The art world is currently arguing over this: What is art actually? What makes an artist? Is Ai-Da the intersection of art and artificial intelligence? Miller considers this question unimportant. His main concern is to stir up debate about technological progress – not about what exactly art is.
Incidentally, Ai-Da herself gave an answer to the question whether she creates art herself: “The answer to that question depends on what you mean by art,” the robot told the Guardian, adding, “I am an artist if art means sharing something about who we are and if we like it.” .Being an artist means clarifying the world around you.”
It remains to be seen if the art world will see it this way…
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