Ai-Da is Amazing, but Needs Rebooting in the Middle of a Conversation



Ai-Da, the world’s first ultra-realistic robot artist struggles to give answers to peer questions

The Lord’s communications and digital committee’s inquiry into the future of creative industries in the UK included “Ai-Da,” described by its developer, Aiden Meller, as the “world’s first ultra-realistic robot artist.” Ai-Da in UK Parliament was something to look forward to as the session began to inquire about the future.

The Ai-Da robot, whose name pays homage to the mathematician Ada Lovelace, was created in 2019 by Oxford and Birmingham computer A.I. academics and Cornish robotics business Engineered Arts. In a ground-breaking hearing, a robot “gave evidence” to a House of Lords committee. The robot failed to hear questions, read mistakes from its pre-written script, and had to be restarted halfway through the hearing. Ai-Da needs rebooting halfway through the session. Ai-Da has gained notoriety in recent years for a variety of pieces, including “Leaping into the Metaverse,” Venice, and a picture of Queen Elizabeth to commemorate her Platinum Jubilee.

Ai-Da, a robot powered by artificial intelligence, addressed the House of Lords yesterday together with her creator, artist, and gallerist Aidan Meller, making history as the first robot of her kind to address a British Parliament.

She spoke before the Communications and Digital Committee’s peers to provide testimony regarding how technology has affected the creative sectors.

Before clarifying to Meller that “the robot is delivering evidence but it is not a witness in its own right, and it does not occupy the same standing as a person,” committee chair Tina Stowell emphasised that it was “a serious inquiry.” The final authority on its assertion’s rests with you as its developer.

Meller introduced Ai-Da at the parliamentary session and said, “I thought, is it actually conceivable that we could analyse, remark on, and look at this world of technology by actually the technology speaking for itself?

She responded to pre-submitted inquiries in order to guarantee a higher standard of answers that the A.I. language model had already prepared.


As artists discover new methods to use technology to express themselves, reflect upon, and examine the relationship between technology, society, and culture, the role of technology in the creation of art will continue to expand, according to Ai-Da.

“Technology, such as the camera and the development of photography and film, has already had a significant impact on how we produce and consume art. With new technologies, it is likely that this trend will continue,” she concluded.

“There is no definitive response regarding the impact on the larger sector, as technology can both threaten and benefit artists,” says the author.

Ai-Da was answering a question from Baroness Featherstone of the Liberal Democrats Party regarding the potential contribution of technology to artistic production. Featherstone then questioned Meller about his role as the robot’s “puppet master.”

He clarified that the dataset that Ai-Da utilised to create his works of art might be as big as the internet. He continued, “I’ll provide an illustration of how extensive this is, which is really disturbing for humans. We do, in fact, question her about the job, what she would like to do, and what she has in mind. We are able to have a productive discussion about the possible data sources she could look at.

Featherstone answered that what he was saying had her “somewhat afraid.” She remarked, “These feeds into all the movies about AI taking over the world,” adding that the technology’s intelligence beyond her expectations.

Ai-Da had to be restarted at one point since it appeared she had fallen asleep. Meller explained that she needed to wear sunglasses because “when we reset her, she may occasionally pull rather strange faces.”

Ai-Da interprets what is in front of her using computer vision algorithms and the cameras in her eyes. In response to this data, a unique control system activates her robotic arms, enabling her to paint.

The finest artists “questioned and interacted with the socioeconomic developments inside their eras,” according to Meller, who is also a gallery director. The more I read about the future and where the world was headed, the more I became aware that this argument concerning the nature of technology was not receiving nearly enough attention. I was getting really scared about it.

“Let me be absolutely clear: We are not here to advocate for robots or any particular technology. It truly is a work of contemporary art.

SM Blurb: As artists discover new methods to use technology to express themselves, reflect, and examine the relationship between technology, society, and culture, the role of technology in the creation of art will continue to expand. Robots and humans can really work together in the near future.


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