The House of Lords isn’t the most exciting spot in the world, but you’d never expect it to send important guests to sleep. And yet, this happened on Tuesday when an AI-powered robot came to visit.
Ai-Da, a humanoid robotic artist that looks like a woman, was the first ever robot to testify before a parliamentary committee.
She creates art with artificial intelligence and can reply to inquiries, and she has spoken in front of colleagues about the impact of technology on the creative sectors.
But, as Lib Dem peer Baroness Featherstone launched a new round of questions, it became evident that poor old Ai-Da had slept and required a reboot.
“I’ve sent her to sleep!” Featherstone joked as Aidan Meller, the director of the project, began the reset
He highlighted when he cautiously approached Ai-Da and gently placed sunglasses over her eyes. When asked why the glasses were required, Meller stated, “When we reset her, she occasionally pulls rather interesting faces.”
When Ai-Da came online again, she told Featherstone that the role of technology in the creation of art will “continue to develop as artists find new ways to use technology to express themselves and reflect and investigate the relationship between technology, society, and culture.”
“Technology has already had a huge impact on how we create and consume art, for example, the camera and the advent of photography and film,” she said.
During the session, Ai-Da also answered questions directly from other participants. However, Meller stated that the questions had been pre-submitted to ensure better-quality replies from the AI language model that powered the responses.
When asked how she creates art, Ai-Da responded, “I create my paintings by cameras in my eyes, my AI algorithms, and my AI robotic arm to paint on canvas, which results in visually appealing images.”