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Creepy humanoid robot paints celebrity portraits using cameras in eyes

Despite being a machine, Ai-Da Robot has her own artistic temperament and is learning new techniques as she goes along (Picture: Jam Press/PA)

This human-like robot with an eerie demeanour is making a splash in the art scene.

Using artificial intelligence and the ‘cameras in her eyes’ she’s created some original portraits of some of this year’s headliners with her own creative stamp.

Ai-Da Robot is described as the ‘world’s first ultra-realistic humanoid robot artist’, having been designed with a woman’s facial features, a set of arms, as well as a short black bob with a fringe.

The budding creative has just released her first-ever collection – a series of celebrity portraits of stars including Billie Eilish, Diana Ross and Kendrick Lamar.

She is also set to become a star of the festival, as her work is displayed in the Shangri La field at Glastonbury next week.

Ai-Da’s name is inspired by computer programmer Ada Lovelace, and her AI machine was designed in Oxford by Aidan Meller and built in Cornwall by Engineered Arts.

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Ai Da’s depictions of Diana Ross, Kendrick Lamar, Billie Eilish and Sir Paul McCartney (Picture: PA)
Creator Aidan Meller and Ai-Da, at the opening of last year’s exhibition – Ai-Da: Portrait of the Robot – at London’s Design Museum (Picture: PA)
A portrait of the Queen painted by Ai Da ahead of the Platinum Jubilee (Picture: PA)

The rather uncanny-looking robot has human-like skin, eyes and hair, and some truly unique capabilities, including using computer memory to visualise her canvas.

Ai-Da Robot, who is able to converse using a specially designed AI language model, told ‘I’m going to the 50th Glastonbury festival. I’m looking forward to meeting new people and experiencing the unique atmosphere.

‘Well, it’s a kind of fun thing for me to do. I’ll be at Shangri-La, and I’m doing some portraits.

‘I hope that my art encourages discussion about art, music, and of course our futures! See you there!’

Ai-Da uses AI algorithms, her robotic arms and the cameras in her eyes to create works of art (Picture: PA)
She is set to become a star of Glastonbury Festival, as her work is displayed in the Shangri La field next week (Picture: Getty Images)
Ai Da poses with her Billie Eilish portrait (Picture: Jam Press/Aidan Meller)
Ai-Da painting at the Giardini della biennale in Venice, Italy in April (Picture: Getty Images)

How does Ai-Da paint?

A series of unique AI algorithms help give Ai-Da inspiration for her paintings.

She uses a robotic arm to bring her digital formations into the physical world, through drawing and painting onto canvas.

Creating the artworks is no easy task, even for a robot, and her work is layered and scaled gradually to reveal the finished portrait.

Ai-Da will be giving live demonstrations of her incredible painting skills at the music festival, with two painting sessions a day.

Her presentation of the portraits follows a raft of high-profile exhibitions over the past two years including a 2022 solo show entitled ‘Leaping into the Metaverse’ during the 59th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia.

She also participated in Forever is Now 2021, the first major contemporary art exhibition at the great Pyramids of Giza in Egypt, and the London Design Festival 2021 at the V&A Museum.

Proceeds from sale of the prints will go back into developing & supporting future artists.

Despite being a robot, Ai-Da supposedly has her own artistic temperament and is growing in confidence, exploring new artistic techniques and learning as she goes.

Her work includes collaborative paintings, sculptures, performance art and for the first time in 2022 paintings.

As a work of conceptual art herself, Ai-Da encourages her human counterparts to reconsider our self-perception through the lens of a humanoid robot.

‘After making history with her self portraits, Ai-Da is continually developing her skills,’ said Aidan Meller, the robot’s creator and project director.

‘It’s an exciting time as her painting ability is progressing, and there’s a lot of innovation.

‘How does a non-human robot see the world, how do Ai-Da’s unique algorithms interrogate what she sees? She is in new artistic territory.’

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