At the University of Oxford a decidedly unique exhibition is about to open its doors, housing paintings made not by human beings, but by a robot. The automaton has human features - feminine to be precise - and was named by its inventors Ai-Da, in honor of mathematics Ada Lovelace and with a reference to the artificial intelligence systems that animate the creative process: it sees the world through two camcorders, he interprets it through algorithms written by experienced developers in the field of machine learning and reproduces it on canvas holding pencils and brushes in his hands from the metal frame.
In its aesthetic aspect the robot was designed by the same company that created the automata of the famous TV series Westworld, but fortunately the intelligence that Ai-Da has is neither advanced nor problematic like that of the characters of the show.
However the android still manages to produce noteworthy works with a rather varied style: starting from what its sensors record it can make portraits decidedly faithful to the original, but also allow themselves the freedom to experiment - interpreting the subject in a more creative way until the works are decidedly abstract.
The inventor Aidan Meller has spent a lot to complete the project, but it seems to be paying off: according to what he declared a few months ago, Ai-Da's works have already yielded more than one million euros. However, it remains difficult to say whether those made by Ai-Da are actually works of art: on the one hand, its algorithms are not entirely deterministic and represent reality in potentially always different ways; on the other hand, the creative spark is completely missing from the device, not to mention the desire to express anything. To tell the truth, however, the android's aim is exactly to ask this same question to those who observe the works, which can be admired at the Barn Gallery from 12 June to 6 July.