World’s first robot artist to exhibit portraits it drew ‘looking in the mirror’

A robot with Artificial Intelligence (AI) is bringing an exhibition of artwork and self-portraits to the Design Museum – asking "can you take a selfie, if you have no self?".

Ai-Da is a robot artist developed by engineers from Leeds and is offering us humans a look at the world through her eyes with a series of drawings and paintings.

According to Ai-Da’s creators, she is the first ultra-realistic humanoid AI robot that is capable of drawing people from life using her camera lens "eyes" and a pencil.

Work by the robot, named after the 19th-century mathematician Ada Lovelace, is due to be displayed at the Design Museum in London between May and June, lockdown rules permitting.

The Sunday Times has detailed how Ai-Da created her masterpieces.

She "looked" into a mirror allowing her AI program to transfer what she witnessed into coordinates.

With the use of a robotic hand and a pencil, the robot then sketched out her own image by processing the coordinates to make a to-scale image.

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Art curator Lucy Seal explained the idea to have Ai-Da create art work to be displayed to the public.

She said: “We live in a selfie culture but we are giving our data to (tech giants), who use it to predict our behaviour.

“Through technology we are outsourcing our own choices.”

While Oxford art gallery owner, Aidan Meller, shared his thoughts after Ai-Da exhibited work at The Barn Gallery, in St John's College, in an the 2019 exhibition Unsecured Futures.

Mr Meller said: “Pioneering a new AI art movement, we are excited to present Ai-Da, the first professional humanoid artist, who creates her own art, as well as being a performance artist.

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“As an AI robot, her artwork uses AI processes and algorithms. The work engages us to think about AI and technological uses and abuses in the world today.”

The Design Museum exhibition is listed as “coming soon” with the museum stating: “Meet Ai-Da, a humanoid robot artist whose ‘self-portraits’ use artificial intelligence to open up questions about human identity and creativity.”

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