Science

A new generation artist exhibited at the Design Museum

Can a robot paint like a real artist? In this lies the whole point of the exhibition at the Design Museum in London, which will be held next May.

Developed in 2019 by scientists at the University of Oxford and engineers at the University of Leeds, Ai-Da is the world’s first ultra-realistic robot artist. Thanks to the algorithms of artificial intelligence, this life-size robot would have the capacity to make art.

The Design Museum therefore proposes to turn the artistic world upside down by opening a new kind of exhibition devoted to works painted by artificial intelligence. Three large self-portraits will be exhibited, alongside a reproduction of Ai-Da’s face shaped with a 3D printer. With the help of his robotic arms and the various programs instilled in him, Ai-Da intends to demonstrate his ability to draw, paint and sculpt.

An avant-garde artist

Did you imagine the year 2021 with flying cars and robots that act like humans? This is more or less what you will witness next May. No flying car on the horizon. Instead, the works of an artist composed, not of flesh and bone, but of electronic elements that you will be able to admire. If the works that will be displayed at the Design Museum are not that different from those of another artist, the artist in herself praises a very futuristic perspective.

One question torments us all: how can Ai-Da paint her self-portrait when she cannot physically see what she looks like? Well, like inside a camera, the robot artist has a mirror built into the cameras that serve as his eyes. The algorithms present in its computer system transform what these cameras perceive into coordinates. From these, Ai-Da can paint her self-portrait.

An exhibition that reflects a contemporary reality

This, to say the least, surprising and original exhibition aims to generate a reflection on our dependence on technology. In an age where our data is no longer so confidential, algorithms can analyze this data to lead us to information that we may be interested in.

These algorithms predict our next research, our next movements, just as they allow the robot artist to go to the end of his creations. Proof that artificial intelligence can do the most human things. So, is Ai-Da on its way to becoming the Vincent Van Gogh of modern times?

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