AI robot painter holds an exhibition and her art is really cool

Ai-Da painting
(Image credit: Ai-Da)

Artificial intelligence is playing a huge role in the development of all kinds of technologies. It can be combined with deep learning techniques to do amazing things that have the potential to improve all our lives. Things like learning how to safely control nuclear fusion, or making delicious pizzas.

One of the many questions surrounding AI is its use in art. There's no denying AI can have some amazing abilities when it comes to producing images. Nvidia's GuaGan2 that can take words and turn them into photorealistic pictures is one example of this. Or Ubisoft's ZooBuilder AI, which is a prototype for animating animals. 

The next question when it comes to AI art, is whether or not it can truly be considered creative, which is being addressed in the world's first humanoid robotic artist's expedition. Spotted by Creative Boom (via IFLScience), paintings from the AI robot Ai-Da are displayed at the Giardini during the 59th International Art Exhibition, and they're much cooler than I expected from an AI.

This is an important moment for AI art," Priya Khanchandani, Head of Curatorial at London's Design Museum, told Creative Boom. "Ai-Da's works raise questions about whether robots can genuinely be creative."

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Ai-Da's works are painted using a specifically made painting arm, combined with cameras located in the robot's eyes. Paired with the AI algorithm, this allows Ai-Da to create some truly unique looking works of art. The finished works are almost reminiscent of old printing techniques, but what's truly interesting is it looks to use a combination of strokes and dots. Almost like 1's and 0's in binary, which is a pretty cool take on how an AI artist might see the world.

The exhibition titled Leaping into the Metaverse includes a series of four portraits all painted by Ai-Da. They include a self portrait and one of Mary Shelly who's arguably the mother of Sci-Fi authoring one of the earliest examples of the genre with the novel Frankenstein.

Ai-Da's painting of Frankenstein author, Mary Shelly. (Image credit: Ai-Da)

Whether or not you consider Ai-Da the artist behind these works or just the people who worked on her is something that's deserving of considered thought. Can a machine create, or is it just using the culmination of its programs and experiences? What makes humans truly any different?

Ai-Da has one answer, which is an appropriately technical understanding for an AI but equally difficult to argue with.

"How can a robot be an artist? Art and artists have many definitions. In regards creativity, using academic professor Margaret Boden's criteria, I am creative because my work is new, surprising and has value, as it is stimulating debate and interest."

You can check out more of Ai-Da's artwork including other styles of paintings and sculptures on the official website.

Hope Corrigan
Hardware Writer

Hope’s been writing about games for about a decade, starting out way back when on the Australian Nintendo fan site Since then, she’s talked far too much about games and tech for publications such as Techlife, Byteside, IGN, and GameSpot. Of course there’s also here at PC Gamer, where she gets to indulge her inner hardware nerd with news and reviews. You can usually find Hope fawning over some art, tech, or likely a wonderful combination of them both and where relevant she’ll share them with you here. When she’s not writing about the amazing creations of others, she’s working on what she hopes will one day be her own. You can find her fictional chill out ambient far future sci-fi radio show/album/listening experience podcast right here. No, she’s not kidding.