Working in a creative industry, you might have been forgiven for thinking that your job is relatively secured against automation, but it’s becoming increasingly clear that no one is safe. There’s been a slew of artificial-intelligence-generated works in recent years, across all disciplines, but no robot sums up the advances better than Ai-Da, the world’s first humanoid AI artist.
Ai-Da – a creepily lifelike robot with hyperreal hair, skin, and British accent – will have its first, groundbreaking solo exhibition on June 12, at the Barn Gallery (part of Oxford University). The show will be aptly titled “Unsecured Futures”.
As for the art itself, Ai-Da only works in pen or pencil at the moment, with a human painting over the top when the drawings are printed on canvas. Still, its pretty impressive stuff: Ai-Da can actually sketch someone sitting in front of it using cameras in its eyes, which flick between the page and the subject, even blinking (spooky).
“It’s a really exciting process never been done before in the way that we’ve done it,” Aidan Meller, the gallerist and inventor of Ai-Da tellsReuters. “We don’t know exactly how the drawings are going to turn out and that’s really important.”
Meller doesn’t only have the technological achievement to celebrate, though. “It’s a sold out show with over a million pounds worth of artworks sold,” he says. Which does make you wonder if it would have been better to put the money (and exhibition space) towards real artists from, say, backgrounds that are still often overlooked in the art world.
Nevertheless, it’s easy to see the appeal of artworks created at the cutting edge of AI tech.