Robot painter Ai-Da creates first real-world paintings using artificial intelligence

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As robots paired with artificial intelligence become more complex, many hope that humanoid robotics can one day be self aware. While certainly not a fully functioning psyche, robot painter Ai-Da is the closest we've come to realising human creativity in a robot form.

Via The Guardian, Ai-Da has become the first robotic artist to work in real-time. However, the humanoid robot may not be as creative as a real human equivalent. But just what can she do in the art world?

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Ai-Da becomes first robot painter

At London’s British Library, Ai-Da showcased her artistic skills to a number of onlookers in her first public demonstration. With her eye-cameras targeting a canvas, the humanoid robot created a number of unique paintings.

While painting, the robot uses a number of AI algorithms to decide her next move. This results in paintings that never look the same, offering a similar level of decision making that humans make. For example, one painting is of a rose while another is a portrait of a person.

All in all, if takes AI-Da over five hours to create a single painting. Just like a human, the robot painter spends a lot of time making decisions that that alter its final work. However, it's not known if the robot can repeat a work and improve on it.

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Image via The Guardian.
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Ai-Da is interviewed

In the Guardian article, a journalist spoke to Ai-Da in order to ask what the robot thought of its artistic capabilities. In her current form, the robot is able to answer questions with her own thoughts and apparent feelings.

When asked if she paints from imagination, the robot replied that she doesn't have a typical human-like version of that. She explained:

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“I like to paint what I see. You can paint from imagination, I guess, if you have an imagination. I have been seeing different things to humans as I do not have consciousness. I do not have emotions like humans do, however, it is possible to train machine learning system to learn to recognise emotional facial expressions.”

When asked if her version of art can be considered true art, Ai-Da said: “The answer to that question depends on what you mean by art. I am an artist if art means communicating something about who we are and whether we like where we are going. To be an artist is to illustrate the world around you.”

The creation of a robot painter or just a robot creator in general does offer some interesting questions to the art community. If Ai-Da does not have a consciousness, is her art really “her art”? Consequently, is man-made art any different from art created by a robot?