She has been described as "a vision of the future" who is every bit as good as other abstract artists today, but Ai-Da – the world's first ultra-realistic robot artist – hit a temporary snag before her latest exhibition when Egyptian security forces detained her at customs. Ai-Da is due to open and present her work at the Great Pyramid of Giza on Thursday, the first time contemporary art has been allowed next to the pyramid in thousands of years. But because of "security issues" that may include concerns that she is part of a wider espionage plot, both Ai-Da and her sculpture were held in Egyptian customs for 10 days before being released on Wednesday, sparking a diplomatic fracas. "The British ambassador has been working through the night to get Ai-Da released, but we're right up to the wire now," said Aidan Meller, the human force behind Ai-Da, shortly before her release. According to Meller, border guards detained Ai-Da at first because she had a modem, and then because she had cameras in her eyes (which she uses to draw and paint).
"The biggest change in human history will take place in the next decade," warns Aidan Meller, a Briton who ran an art gallery for 20 years until he became a pioneer by launching the world's first creative robot, Ai-Da. Introduced in 2019 as "the first humanoid artist," Ai-Da not only creates poems, paintings and sculptures, but also draws inspiration from the highest cultural references. Her name is not random either; it is a tribute to Ada Lovelace, a British mathematician considered the first computer programmer, also known for being the only legitimate daughter of the poet Lord Byron. Ai-Da's next action will be at the Giardini of the Venice Biennale on April 23. It will be the first time in the 120-year history of the Biennale that a robot artist will exhibit their work alongside that created by humans.
The robotic artist known as Ai-Da was scheduled to display her artwork alongside the great pyramids of Egypt on Thursday, though the show was nearly called off after both the robot and her human sculptor, Aidan Meller, were detained by Egyptian authorities for a week and a half until they could confirm that the artist was actually a spy. The incident began when border guards objected over Ai-da's camera eyes, which it uses in its creative process, and its on-board modem. "I can ditch the modems, but I can't really gouge her eyes out," Meller told The Guardian. The robot artist, which was built in 2019, typically travels via specialized cargo case and was held at the border until clearing customs on Wednesday evening, hours before the exhibit was scheduled to begin. "The British ambassador has been working through the night to get Ai-Da released, but we're right up to the wire now," Meller said, just before Ai-Da was sprung from robo-jail.
When people think of artificial intelligence, the images that often come to mind are of the sinister robots that populate the worlds of "The Terminator," "i, Robot," "Westworld," and "Blade Runner." For many years, fiction has told us that AI is often used for evil rather than for good. But what we may not usually associate with AI is art and poetry -- yet that's exactly what Ai-Da, a highly realistic robot invented by Aidan Meller in Oxford, central England, spends her time creating. Ai-Da is the world's first ultra-realistic humanoid robot artist, and on Friday she gave a public performance of poetry that she wrote using her algorithms in celebration of the great Italian poet Dante. The recital took place at the University of Oxford's renowned Ashmolean Museum as part of an exhibition marking the 700th anniversary of Dante's death.
OXFORD, ENGLAND - Wearing a white blouse and her dark hair hanging loose, Ai-Da looks like any artist at work as she studies her subject and puts pencil to paper. But the beeping from her bionic arm gives her away -- Ai-Da is a robot. Described as "the world's first ultra-realistic AI humanoid robot artist," Ai-Da opens her first solo exhibition of eight drawings, 20 paintings, four sculptures and two video works next week, bringing "a new voice" to the art world, her British inventor and gallery owner Aidan Meller said. "The technological voice is the important one to focus on because it affects everybody," he said at a preview. "We've got a very clear message we want to explore: the uses and abuses of AI today, because this next decade is coming in dramatically and we're concerned about that and we want to have ethical considerations in all of that."