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Robot says AI is a ‘threat’ as owner is forced to reset it as it gives evidence at House of Lords

Robot says AI is a ‘threat’ as owner is forced to reset it as it gives evidence at House of Lords

Artists could be under 'threat' by artificial intelligence according to a robot which gave evidence at the House of Lords.

Artists could be under 'threat' by artificial intelligence according to a robot which gave evidence at the House of Lords.

In July, 2022, the House of Lords launched a Creative Future inquiry to 'examine future challenges for the creative industries, and explore what is needed from the skills and talent pipeline to ensure the sector can thrive in this fast-changing world'.

Today (Tuesday, 11 October), an artist robot named Ai-Da Robot visited the second chamber of parliament to give evidence in the inquiry.

However, the robot had to be rebooted after she warned artists could be under 'threat' by artificial intelligence (AI).


Ai-Da Robot - created in February, 2019 - is 'the world’s first ultra-realistic artist robot' who 'draws and paints using cameras in her eyes, her AI algorithms, and her robotic arm'.

The robot's website states: "The role and definition of art changes over time. Ai-Da’s work is art, because it reflects the enormous integration of technology in todays society. 

"[...] Today, a dominant opinion is that art is created by the human, for other humans. This has not always been the case. The ancient Greeks felt art and creativity came from the Gods. Inspiration was divine inspiration. Today, a dominant mind-set is that of humanism, where art is an entirely human affair, stemming from human agency.

"However, current thinking suggests we are edging away from humanism, into a time where machines and algorithms influence our behaviour to a point where our ‘agency’ isn’t just our own. It is starting to get outsourced to the decisions and suggestions of algorithms, and complete human autonomy starts to look less robust. Ai-Da creates art, because art no longer has to be restrained by the requirement of human agency alone."

Ai-Da gave evidence at the House of Lords today, 11 October.
PA Images/ Alamy Stock Photo

Ai-Da was invited to give evidence to the House of Lords Communications and Digital Committee to help people understand the 'very big sweeping changes that AI is bringing,' the robot's creator and specialist in modern and contemporary art, Aidan Meller, told Sky News.

However, Ai-Da's comments have caused quite the stir. During her speech, the robot reflected on the 'huge impact' technology has already had on how people 'create and consume art'.

"For example, the camera and the advent of photography and film, and it is likely this trend will continue," she added.

Ai-Da's prediction for the future? "There is no clear answer as to the impact on the wider field, as technology can be both a threat and an opportunity for artists creating art."

Ai-Da resolved: "Technology can be both a threat and an opportunity for artists creating art."
Sky News/ YouTube

In response to Ai-Da's reflection, the chair of the committee, Tina Stowell, told Meller: "Just so we're clear on the status. The robot is providing evidence but it is not a witness in its own right. I don't want to offend the robot but it does not occupy the same status as a human.

"[...] You as its creator are ultimately responsible for the statements."

Featured Image Credit: Sky News

Topics: Technology, UK News, Politics