The AI touring the world to showcase its skill … as an artist

(Photo: Ai-Da Robot's social media account)

Over the last decade, we have witnessed AI increasingly become more interwoven into our daily lives. During this relatively short period of time we have witnessed the birth of GPT-3 (a model that uses deep learning to produce human-like text), self-driving vehicles, and many other technologies that have become key in the development of modern day society.اضافة اعلان

One of the challenges with AI, as discussed in our GPT-3 article, is a machine’s inability (or difficulty) to make inferences into subject matters. As a result, anything that requires creativity is generally seen as an incredibly challenging task for a machine to handle.

While GPT-3’s interview was definitely something to be awed by, Ai-Da; the walking, talking, and eerily human looking robot that paints is starting to tour the world in hopes of spreading her message as well as her works.

Ai-Da: Behind the mask

Ai-Da, named after the British mathematician Ada Lovelace, is an AI that was designed by Oxford’s Aidan Meller, and has been successfully embedded into a robotic framework that enables the AI to interact with physical objects as a human would.

The AI was designed over the course of several years, with much of its modeling data coming directly from the internet. Many AI-based research teams across the globe have been unilateral on their consensus of this painter’s existence — nothing short of a miracle.

Ai-Da began painting in early 2020, and her work was made publicly available shortly thereafter. Some of her work is held in London’s Design Museum, giving the public an opportunity to take a look into the “creative” mind of an AI.
This isn’t just a walking, talking printer. Unlike previous artistic AI that would either copy a scene or use an existing image for inspiration, Ai-Da is capable of creating completely unique artworks from her own “mind.”

This is especially impressive, as the concepts of inspiration and creativity are incredibly difficult to implement. And whether or not someone or something is able to draw or paint creative works with no pre-requisites, such as will, is a philosophical discussion that many have been debating over for years.

The AI hosts shows where it puts its skills on display for onlookers, all the while giving the crowd an opportunity to interact with the AI in Q&A sessions. While her chassis is made visible along with her hands, her torso and face are covered with a skin-like mask that enables expressions of emotions as well as mouth movement that makes her appear more human.

If you were to just view her paintings and interviews, and you were not aware of her “technical” nature, you might be hard pressed to find any real indications that Ai-Da isn’t in fact a person, but rather, a machine. In many ways, this is a clear cut indication that the AI would be a candidate for the Turing test (a method for determining whether or not an AI is capable of thinking like a human). However, Meller declined to answer whether or not he would ever consider testing Ai-Da.

Meller stated that his fascination on the distance between human and machine art was his main driving force behind creating Ai-Da. The current iteration of Ai-Da is considered to have a composite persona, with the artist having many modules that enable multi-faceted interactions that expand the scope of her communicability.

Until now, Ai-Da has sold several paintings for over $1 Million, much of which went back into financing and continuing to develop the aspiring artist. Mueller stated that he plans on expanding the total sample reach of her inspiration, which currently focuses on the mid-to-late 20th centuries.

What about traditional art then?

The inevitable debate on the horizon is how can a machine’s creation be considered art? And what happens to the value of human art if machines start creating art that mimics or even supersedes the qualities of human-made work?

Whereas, the arguments in the past were cemented by machines’ inability to be creative, it is no longer possible to overlook the potential ramifications of such a technological turn of the page. What if creativity too, inevitably, is outsourced to machines?

While we are definitely not at the level of outright dehumanization of art, it is important to keep these ideas in mind. Those in favor of AI-driven creative work often state that machines such as Ai-Da are a novelty in the sector, and that much of the value from her paintings is derived from that uniqueness. Over time however, this will fade, and her work will no longer be as sought after as they are today.

In the end, only time will tell whether or not something as highly creative as artistry will be given an opportunity to flourish on its own, or to become an outright replacement for its human counterpart.

To see some of Ai-Da’s work, you can head to their official site and go through some of her latest work in finer detail. If you’re up for the trip, as of writing of this article, Ai-Da is currently touring through Egypt, so if you’re feeling extra adventurous, it could make a great addition to a quick vacation.