Ai-Da is the world’s first ultra-realistic robot artist, and in an interview with a UK journalist, managed to both enlighten on the topic of artificial intelligence (AI) art and share a chilling reminder that some robots might not always be as peaceful as artists.
In a short interview with LBC journalist Tom Swarbrick, Ai-Da toed the line between insightful and creepy. Her statements on the nature of art were nuanced, but there was no way to shake the sense that this is a robot.
Partway through the interview, Swarbrick is unnerved by the processing time required by the artist robot. Ai-Da took several seconds to compose a reply to the question, “Do you think your paintings are as good — are they as artful — as drawings by humans?” With her uncanny valley face and eyes unblinkingly focused on the journalist. “Oh god, she’s staring at me; I think she’s going to kill me,” he whispers to someone off-camera.
Swarbrick drops the pretense of art criticism briefly to ask Ai-Da if we should be scared of her. After a beat, the reply comes: “I am not a risk, but some of the technologies I represent have the potential to be a risk,” continuing, “I think that concerns over the future development and use of AI are valid.” She attempts to elaborate on this point, but the interviewer interrupts with a pressing question: “What do you think we should be most concerned about?”
Swarbrick, Ai-Da’s self-awareness is unsettling
Ai-Da is very aware that she is a robot and uses this to inform her art. “When creating my art, I use a variety of AI algorithms,” she says, also noting that she “enjoys creating art that encourages discussions over new technology.”
“AI’s impact will be considerable, complex, and multifaceted,” she states. It is impossible to escape the fact that Ai-Da, the robot artist, is deeply aware of that knowledge and its implications — that she is an AI and that her work’s impact is complex and multifaceted. The conversations about AI art are nuanced, and people are on all sides of the debate.
Featured image: Leemurz/Wikimedia Commons