Skynet Writes Shakespeare: Robot ‘Ai-Da’ Creates Art Using Algorithms

Ai-Da, a robot artist devised by Aidan Miller but created by a team of over 30 engineers, has debuted her artwork during an exhibition at the Great Pyramid of Giza.

Ai-Da, the humanoid robot artist, gears up for first solo exhibition in Oxford | The Japan Times
Credit: The Japan Times

“Forever is now”, the exhibition that Ai-Da’s work starred in, ran until the 7th of November. Da’s artwork was based on the riddle of the Sphinx. It featured a large version of Ai herself with 3 legs. The exhibition was the very first of its kind held near the 4500-year-old pyramid. The project finished with the full support of the Egyptian authorities and UNESCO.

Ai-Da, named for computer pioneer Ada Lovelace, is the brainchild of Aidan Miller. A British artist with over 20 years’ worth of experience in the world of art. Miller created Da as a point of discussion on sudden shifts in society. He sought to ‘challenge the morphing world and ask questions of technology in our times.’

Eyes Sewn Shut

Currently, the 2-year-old AI artist is programmed to artistically respond to Dante’s ‘Divine Inferno’. Her most famous piece was a poem made in response to Dante’s ‘Circle of the Envious’.

Credit: Aidan Meller/Ai-Da

They also equipped the artist with her own voice. She read this poem, ‘Eyes Sewn Shut’, in a recital for the University of Oxfords Ashmolean Museum. Da is not the first Artificially Intelligent poet, however. That honour goes to a Shakespearean bot created by IBM Research Australia.

Ai-Da’s arms and AI to use them were designed by Egyptian engineers Ziad Abass and Salaheldin Al Abd. Both will attend ‘Forever is Now’ with Da. The sculptures themselves, however, were completely made by the robotic artist herself. Requiring gloves to protect her sensitive electronic hands.

Ai-Da went on display at the Great Pyramids of Giza in Cairo, Egypt, on October 23, 2021, as part of an exhibition presented by the organization Art D'Egypte in partnership with the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities and Tourism.
Credit: CNN

“So all the marks that you see on this astonishing sculpture have all been done by the fingers of Ai-Da,”

Miller noted. Ai-Da has also made over 4 paintings, including one self-portrait. None of her work has had any human input involved at all.

Unfortunately, the AI artist caused an international incident before her work could be displayed. Ai-Da is considered a security risk by authorities because of the camera in her eyes. She was detained in Egypt for 10 days as soon as she arrived. An act that will surely damn us all in the robot uprising. Miller and the British Ambassador to Egypt worked tirelessly to get her released in time for her display’s date.

Subscribe to FIB’s Weekly Alchemy Report for your weekly dose of music, fashion and pop culture news!