Ai-Da will testify before a House of Lords hearing.

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By Creative Media News

Ai-Da Robot’s portraits of the Queen, Billie Eilish, and Paul McCartney have made the news. Now, she will address questions at the House of Lords as part of an investigation into technology and creativity. As creator Aidan Meller tells, it is a “true historical moment.”

The rise of artificial intelligence may pose a threat to creativity.

Who better to answer this question than Ai-Da, the world’s first artist robot who has made news for her astounding paintings and sculptures, including a portrait of the Queen during the Platinum Jubilee celebration earlier in 2022?

Ai-Da Robot will make history later today when she (she is far too lifelike to be referred to as an “it”) testifies in the House of Lords as part of the A Creative Future inquiry, which examines possible problems for the creative industries and how they may adapt as technology progresses.

Ai-da will testify before a house of lords hearing.
Ai-da will testify before a house of lords hearing.

Read it again: a robot testifying before the House of Lords. It may sound like a scenario from a science-fiction film, but in the year 2022, it is a very real occurrence.

“Before a few years ago, it would have been unthinkable that this would be possible, but it demonstrates how far AI has come.

“It’s quite extraordinary. It uses data and recognizes patterns in data that are not obvious to people… these technological advancements, particularly in the field of creativity, are quite impressive.

“In actuality, AI is the quiet revolution since it cannot be seen. “One of the beautiful things about Ai-Da, who appears to be human but is a machine, is that she makes something that is extremely difficult to grasp tangible.”

Mr. Meller states that Ai-Da helps people make sense of the “huge, sweeping changes” that AI is bringing. It is not an exaggeration to claim that AI will affect all facets of life, as it is arriving far more quickly than anyone anticipated.

Mr. Meller, an expert in modern and contemporary art, designed the robot, which was then constructed in Cornwall by the humanoid entertainment robot company Engineered Arts and programmed internationally.

Her skills were honed by doctoral candidates and professors at Oxford and Birmingham universities.

Using cameras in her eyes and sophisticated algorithms, she can comprehend what she sees in front of her before creating art with her robotic arm.

Bringing Star Wars to life

Ai-Da Robot-created portraits of the leading bands at Glastonbury.

Since her initial solo exhibition at the University of Oxford in 2019, the hyper-realistic robot has given a world-first self-portrait solo exhibition at The Design Museum London, participated in a United Nations exhibition, and appeared in The 1975’s art film Yeah I Know.

And after painting the Queen earlier this year, she was invited to portray Billie Eilish, Diana Ross, Kendrick Lamar, and Sir Paul McCartney as headliners at Glastonbury.

She will speak alongside Mr. Meller in front of the communications and technology committee of the House of Lords, which includes Baroness Gail Rebuck, chair of Penguin Random House, and Lord Edward Vaizey, a former MP and cultural minister under David Cameron.

She may be asked about the prospects for AI in the creative industries, the difficulties surrounding rights and intellectual property, and the relationship between technology and artistic creation.

Mr. Meller asserts that the world must keep pace with AI, which is increasingly pervasive in everyday life, from predictive text to 3D printers.

“Meeting [Ai-Da] on a screen is completely different from seeing her in person,” he continues. “She has face recognition so she can look you in the eye; therefore, when she looks [at you] and addresses you by name, it’s rather astounding.

“I use this word on purpose because it is literally beyond what we anticipated… you know, we all grew up in the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s with Star Wars and similar franchises. And we believed they were merely fantastical constructs.”

We must be prepared for a great deal of change.

Following Ai-testimony Da’s on Tuesday, the House of Lords inquiry will continue in mid-October, with Google and British Film Institute (BFI) executives following in her robot footsteps.

The objective is to be better equipped for the future in terms of technology and the creative industries.

Mr. Meller acknowledges that it would be “foolish” to assert that AI won’t displace people “in all areas” amidst the widespread apprehension around the technology.

The speaker says, “There will be a migration. It would be irrational for computers and robots to not perform some tasks better than humans. In addition, new employment opportunities will emerge.

“There will be a transition. I do not know if it is proportional. What I can say is that we must be ready for significant change.”

Regarding the future link between technology and creativity, we will defer to Ai-Da herself for the last word.

She says, “I feel that machine creativity gives us an excellent opportunity to explore new ideas and ways of thinking.” However, there are risks involved with this technology that we must carefully evaluate.

We must examine benefits and restrictions, as well as ethical considerations.

On Tuesday, keep an eye out for her testimony in the House of Lords inquiry.

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