The 59th Venice Biennale opens after a year of delay. The world’s first life-scale robot artist Ada’s “Leap into the Metaverse” exhibition has caused quite a stir. This is the first time in the biennale’s 120-year history that robotic artists will be showing their creations alongside those of humans. It can be seen from this that the virtual world has brought great imagination and great possibilities to the field of fashion and art in the past year.
Since 2017, Aidan Mailer, who has run the Oxford Gallery in the UK for 20 years, has spent two years developing the Ada. Among them, the drawing intelligence was developed by artificial intelligence (AI) researchers at the University of Oxford, while the drawing arm was the work of Leeds engineers.
The 3D-printed Ada has hazel eyes full of mystery, a hidden camera inside, equipped with facial tracking technology, and can directly make eye contact with people. Her body shape and face are designed to resemble that of a young woman, with a head and torso that look like a mannequin, full lips, teeth and gums that are very human-like. Her wheat-colored skin has the unique shiny texture of silicone, her wig is made very realistically, and her expression reveals a kind of youthfulness and disdain for entering the art world, and she is a living artist. However, like the heroine in the Hollywood movie “Terminator”, she has a pair of fully exposed mechanical arms that can move a lot, looking like a robot.
The biggest highlight of Ada is that she has both a humanoid appearance and an artist personality. She is built as an “behavior artist” driven by AI. She can gesture and wink, and she can also speak eloquently. She even gave a speech on “the intersection of art and AI” at the podium of Oxford University, discussing her feelings about AI and art, and answering in detail about her artistic creation process and attitude towards AI technology. The problem. The novelty of Ada lies in her extremely authentic appearance and “artist’s personality”. Her name is not random, but has a lot of origins. It is a reference to the 19th century British pioneer female mathematician Ada Lovelace. tribute. Ada Lovelace is the daughter of the famous British poet Byron, known as the “Queen of Numbers”. She formulated “algorithms” for computing programs and is considered the founder of scientific computing.
In May 2021, Ada held a grand art exhibition at the Design Museum in London, and released a series of self-portraits she drew to the world. In her creation, she combines her own brushstrokes, AI algorithms and some help from humans.
In this regard, the head of the curator Priya Kanzandani introduced: “Ada’s past works include abstract paintings based on complex mathematical models, and now the new self-portraits created combine continuously updated AI, built-in programs and advanced The advanced robot technology, the details are in place, the brush strokes are delicate, the colors are colorful, the picture is full and smooth, and the exquisite painting skills make many human colleagues feel inferior.”
Art and imagination are usually considered to be unique characteristics of human beings, while self-portraits are self-portraits. A manifestation of consciousness. Ada is not human, not even conscious, so how does she draw these surreal self-portraits? It turns out that the camera installed in Ada’s eyes is equipped with a facial tracking system, and the camera is also associated with a set of AI technology, which can interact with a computer platform. She took a picture of herself through a mirror. After getting a picture, the information of the picture will be transmitted to the drawing arm. After the arm part analyzes the relevant data, it draws on a piece of paper what looks like a “constellation line drawing”. abstract pattern.
For robots, drawing portraits is a comprehensive layering technique that combines completely different types of techniques including drawing, algorithms and photographic composition. The “hyperreal” AI artist can also draw portraits of others, but not “photorealistically”. Based on Cubism, she uses scattered dotted lines to outline human faces, and the brushstrokes produced are usually discontinuous. Only after a large number of brushstrokes can the outline of the subject be seen, giving the paintings a texture of “seeing flowers through the fog”. Ada also has the ability to color, inspired by the techniques and color schemes that real artists use to create artwork.
AI empowers Ada to create art
Ada can complete a non-repetitive painting within 45 minutes, and the unique algorithm ensures that each portrait is unique. Also, the paths created by the algorithm are deleted after the fact, so they cannot be replicated. The algorithm contains different AI and computer programs and corresponding input databases, which means that she can not only continuously improve the quality of her works like traditional artists, but also master several different styles of brushwork at the same time.
In an interview before the exhibition, Ada said: “My art is contemporary and involves issues of our time and future. I don’t have emotions like humans, but when people look at my work and say what is it , I’m delighted. I like to make people think that art requires more than painting, it means communicating in a relevant way.”
Recite poems and export them into chapters
On October 22, 2021, to commemorate the 700th anniversary of the death of the great Italian Renaissance poet Dante, Ada recited a poem created by an AI algorithm on the spot. At the beginning, the organizer asked Ada to listen to the English version of “Divine Comedy”, and she “understood” it completely, and got inspiration from Dante’s voice pattern, integrated the vocabulary in her own database, used algorithms, and used the unique AI The verses generated by the language model are sung. Organizers said that although she is not the first robot to be taught to write poetry, it is the first robot to publicly perform and recite poems written and recited by AI algorithms.
Poet Carol Lumens commented on Ada’s poems: “‘A needle and thread are needed to complete the picture’ is a very strange line.” She noted: “An eagle tamed by sewing its eyes The imagery is close to raw and powerful, retaining the best parts of the passage. Despite the chaotic register and strange direction, the rhythm of the lines seems to be very smooth, and I think AI poets have great promise.”
sculpture interpretation riddle
In October 2021, an exhibition called “Forever is Now” will be held next to the famous Giza Pyramids. This is the first time that Egypt has allowed modern artwork to be displayed next to the pyramids. Nadine Abdul Jaafar, founder of the “Art Egypt” organization that organized the exhibition, said: “The pyramid has a long and glorious history, attracting artists from all over the world and inspiring them. I am very happy I can share with you this art exhibition that combines art, history and cultural relics.” Ada’s work in this exhibition is not a painting, but a huge three-legged sculpture inspired by a Greek Fairytale.
Doubt and debate
Ada is so far the world’s first surrealist robot that combines painting, poetry and sculpture creation. Her appearance has sparked debates about the boundaries of AI. Nowadays, robots can also be artists with explosive creativity, so is the creation of AI considered art?
There is a mainstream view that art is created by humans and only belongs to humans. This view is based on humanism. But today, art seems to be slowly deviating from humanism because of the development of technology, and is entering an era where machines and algorithms will affect our behavior. It is undeniable that the era of AI art has arrived. In this interaction between man and machine, human artists help AI to open up the “art wisdom root”, endowing robots like Ada with the ability to create art.
However, for a long time to come, it will still be difficult for AI to replace the creations of human artists, because all of their creations require human participation. For example, Ada’s self-portrait has undergone artificial processing in the later stage. To be precise, the final product was processed by a human female painter Suzy Emery based on the “constellation line drawing” drawn by Ada. For another example, Ada’s sculptures are also artificially processed in the later stage based on the “constellation line drawings” she drew. A computer scientist in Sweden rendered silhouettes of figures from her drawings, printed 3D models in wax, and cast them in bronze.
It is true that Ada has no self-awareness, but this achievement is still a major breakthrough for human beings in the development of AI and robots, and a big step forward. While Ada doesn’t compete with humans, it’s fundamentally disturbing. More and more people are concerned about the widespread use of AI language models on the Internet and its impact on future languages, especially meaning generation. If it is computer programs rather than human-created content that in turn shapes and influences human psychology and society, then this will bring about a major shift in the use and impact of language.