Ai-Da is the world's first ultra-realistic humanoid robot artist.[1][2] Completed in 2019, Ai-Da is an artificial intelligence robot that makes drawings, painting, and sculptures. She is named after Ada Lovelace.[1] The robot gained international attention when it was able to draw people from sight with a pencil using her bionic hand and cameras in her eyes.[3]

Ai-Da with self-portrait (2021)
ManufacturerEngineered Arts
InventorAidan Meller
CountryUnited Kingdom United Kingdom
Year of creation2019
TypeHumanoid, artist
Purposedrawings, painting, and sculptures
WebsiteOfficial website


Ai-Da was invented by gallerist Aidan Meller, in collaboration with Engineered Arts, a Cornish robotics company.[4] Her drawing intelligence was developed by computer AI researchers at the University of Oxford,[5] and her drawing arm was developed by Salaheldin Al Abd and Ziad Abass, undergraduate students from the School of Electronic and Electrical Engineering at the University of Leeds.[4][6] In April 2022, Ai-Da launched her new painting arm, that enabled her to paint using a palette, at the British Library in London.[2]

Making historyEdit

From her conception in 2019, Ai-Da was the world's first ultra-realistic humanoid robot to be able to be an artist.

Using Professor Margaret Boden's definition of creativity, namely making art that was new, surprising and of value, Ai-Da was able to devise artworks that were genuinely creative, using specially written AI algorithms in drawing and painting. She subsequently went onto doing collaborative sculpture.[7][8][9]

Ai-Da made history at a solo show called Ai-Da: Portrait of a Robot at the Design Museum in London, with her first self-portraits, that were painted with no conscious self. How do you paint a self portrait with no self? This raises questions about identity in the digital age, and the role of our digital double as we merge with technology,[7][10] and was the first humanoid to devise a font at the Design Museum.[11]

In October 2021, Ai-Da was invited to exhibit a sculpture at the Forever is Now exhibition at the Giza Pyramids. This is the first time art has had access to the plateau of the Pyramids' history.[12][13]

Ai-Da is also the first humanoid to paint Queen Elizabeth II for her Platinum Jubilee.[14]

In November 2021, Ai-Da used her language model to write and then recite poetry at the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, as a human would. She did two public performances, as part of the Dante: the invention of Celebrity at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford.[9]

Shows and appearancesEdit

In May 2019, Ai-Da executed a live performance called Privacy at St Hugh's College, Oxford. This work was a homage to Yoko Ono’s seminal work Cut Piece.[15]

In June 2019, Ai-Da's artworks were featured in a gallery show called Unsecured Features at St John's College, Oxford.[16]

In June 2019, Ai-Da featured at the Barbican Centre, London, in WIRED Pulse: AI.[17]

In September 2019, Ai-Da was invited to Ars Electronica, Linz, Austria: European ARTificial Intelligence Lab exhibition entitled Out of the Box: The Midlife Crisis of the Digital Revolution.[18]

In October 2019, Ai-Da collaborated with artist Sadie Clayton on a series of workshops at Tate Exchange, Tate Modern, London – Exploring Identity Through Technology – hosted by A Vibe Called Tech.[19][20]

In November, 2019, Ai-Da was invited to do a series of workshops at Abu Dhabi Art in Manarat Al Saadiyat, UAE.[21]

In December 2019, Ai-Da had her first in-depth interview with Tim Marlow, the Artistic Director at the Royal Academy, at the Sarabande (Alexander McQueen Foundation), London, Inspiration Series.[22]

In February 2020, Ai-Da did her first TEDx talk in Oxford called The Intersection of Art and AI.[23]

In July 2020, Ai-Da featured in The 1975's music video for their song "Yeah I Know", from their album Notes on a Conditional Form. In the video she was tasked with drawing what she thought the human consciousness looked like and composing a poem in response to the song lyrics.[24]

In October 2020, Ai-Da was featured by the United Nations in a virtual exhibition launched by The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) launched "WIPO: AI and IP, A Virtual Experience."[25]

In May 2021, Ai-Da did her first artist residency at Porthmeor Studios, St Ives. She worked in Studio 5 in response to Ben Nicholson’s art, who worked in the same space during the 1930s and 1940s.[26]

In May 2021, Ai-Da's display of the worlds first Self Portraits with no self, Ai-Da: Portrait of the Robot was at the Design Museum, London.[1]

In September 2021, Ai-Da exhibited her first Metaverse works at the Victoria and Albert Museum at the London Design Festival.[27][28]

In October 2021, while entering Egypt for an exhibition at the Great Pyramid of Giza, Ai-Da was held for ten days by border guards who "feared her robotics may have been hiding covert spy tools".[29] The artwork was due to be part of the contemporary art exhibition to be held for the first time at the Pyramids.[29] The artwork was due to be part of the contemporary art exhibition to be held for the first time at the Pyramids in 4500 years.[29]

In October 2021, Ai-Da exhibited artworks as part of a group show called "Dante: the invention of Celebrity" at the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford. She made history by using her language model to write and then recite poetry in a museum as a human would.[2][3][8]

On 22 April 2022, Ai-Da was scheduled to launch the world premiere of her solo exhibition titled "Leaping into the Metaverse" at the 59th Venice Biennale.[2]

In May 2022, Ai-Da's work Algorithm Queen, which depicts Queen Elizabeth II, was unveiled to mark her platinum jubilee.[30]

In June 2022, Ai-Da was invited to be artist in residence at Glastonbury Festival, in the ShangriLa Field, along with Chinese dissident artist Ai WeiWei. Ai-Da painted the headliners Billie Eilish, Kendrick Lamar, Sir Paul McCartney, and Diana Ross while interacting with the crowds in her studio.[31]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c "'Some people feel threatened': face to face with Ai-Da the robot artist". The Guardian. 18 May 2021. Retrieved 2021-06-03.
  2. ^ a b c d Davies, Caroline. "'Mind-blowing': Ai-Da becomes first robot to paint like an artist". The Guardian. Retrieved 4 April 2022.
  3. ^ a b "The new Picasso? Meet Ai-Da the robot artist". Reuters. 2019-02-12. Retrieved 2019-11-21.
  4. ^ a b "Ai-Da: University of Oxford to host robot art exhibition". BBC News. 3 June 2019. Retrieved 22 October 2021.
  5. ^ "Unsecured Futures – The art of Ai-Da Robot". St John's College. Retrieved 2021-09-25.
  6. ^ Sciences, Faculty of Engineering and Physical. "Working on Ai-Da". Retrieved 2022-03-16.
  7. ^ a b "Ai-Da Robot Makes History With new Cutting Edge AI Painting Arm". Robotics Research. 2022-04-07. Retrieved 2022-06-21.
  8. ^ a b "Meet the Robot Artist Who Just Became the First to Stage a Solo Exhibition". Time. Retrieved 2022-06-21.
  9. ^ a b Drăgan, Otilia (2021-11-29). "The Ultra-Realistic Humanoid Robot Ai-Da Breaks Boundaries Once Again". autoevolution. Retrieved 2022-06-21.
  10. ^ "'Some people feel threatened': face to face with Ai-Da the robot artist". the Guardian. 2021-05-18. Retrieved 2022-06-21.
  11. ^ "interview with the creator of Ai-Da, the life-size humanoid robot artist making self-portraits without a self". designboom | architecture & design magazine. 2021-05-24. Retrieved 2022-06-21.
  12. ^ "Egypt detains artist robot Ai-Da before historic pyramid show". the Guardian. 2021-10-20. Retrieved 2022-06-21.
  13. ^ "mummified robot joins JR and others at egypt's first art exhibition at giza pyramids". designboom | architecture & design magazine. 2021-10-22. Retrieved 2022-06-21.
  14. ^ "Platinum Jubilee: AI robot paints Queen's portrait". BBC News. 2022-05-27. Retrieved 2022-06-21.
  15. ^ Jeffries, Stuart (29 May 2021). "The world's first robot artist discusses beauty, Yoko Ono and the perils of AI". The Spectator. Retrieved 2021-09-08.
  16. ^ "Unsecured Futures – The art of Ai-Da Robot". June 2019. Retrieved 2019-11-21.
  17. ^ "WIRED Pulse: AI at the Barbican". WIRED UK. Retrieved 2021-09-08.
  18. ^ "Ai-Da Robot Artist" (in German). Ars Electronica. Retrieved 2021-09-08.
  19. ^ "Humanoid robot artist Ai-Da to co-host workshops at Tate Exchange". Retrieved 2021-05-26.
  20. ^ "Ai-Da Robot, the world's first ultra-realistic robot artist, and Artist Sadie Clayton host Zoom talks". FAD Magazine. 2020-04-10. Retrieved 2021-05-26.
  21. ^ Roberts, Sarah (3 June 2020). Lamine, YoungMi (ed.). "Artist's Profile: AI-DA Robot". Retrieved 2021-09-08.
  22. ^ "An Evening with Sarabande: AiDa in conversation with Tim Marlow". theVOV. Retrieved 2021-09-08.
  23. ^ Robot, Ai-Da (February 2021). "Transcript of "The intersection of art and AI | Ai-Da Robot | TEDxOxford"". Retrieved 2021-09-08.
  24. ^ "Robot artist stars in music video for The 1975". Reuters. 15 July 2020. Retrieved 2021-05-26 – via
  25. ^ Team, Intepat (2020-09-19). "WIPO's Virtual Exhibition on Artificial Intelligence and Intellectual Property". Intepat IP. Retrieved 2021-05-26.
  26. ^ "First life-like artist robot to take up residency at Porthmeor Studios in St Ives". 2021-06-25. Retrieved 2021-09-08.
  27. ^ "Robot artist Ai-Da returns to Oxford for the Ashmolean Museum's 700th anniversary celebrations of Dante". The Luxury Channel. Retrieved 2022-06-21.
  28. ^ "V&A · Drawing with Ai-da". Victoria and Albert Museum. Retrieved 2022-06-21.
  29. ^ a b c "Robot artist Ai-Da released by Egyptian border guards". BBC News. 21 October 2021. Retrieved 22 October 2021.
  30. ^ "Platinum Jubilee: AI robot paints Queen's portrait". BBC News. 27 May 2022. Retrieved 30 May 2022.
  31. ^ Harris, Gareth (2022-06-23). "Move aside Paul McCartney! Ai Weiwei and Ai-Da the robot to debut work at this year's Glastonbury Festival in England". The Art Newspaper - International art news and events. Retrieved 2022-07-21.

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