Humanoid robot gives evidence to parliamentary committee

Written by Ruaraidh Gilmour on 14 October 2022 in News

AI-powered artist takes questions from peers

Credit: Ai-Da Robot

A humanoid robot powered by artificial intelligence has made history after it gave evidence at a parliamentary committee looking into potential challenges for creative industries caused by technological advances.

Ai-Da, a robot artist that uses AI algorithms to process visual and audio information through cameras and microphones to create paintings and poetry, stood before the House of Lords Communications and Digital Committee to explain how she works.  

The robot stood next to its creator, Aidan Meller, director of Ai-Da Robot. He told the committee that Ai-Da had been created to “mimic a human”. The project came about because “the greatest artists of our time questioned the societal shifts that took place within in their time”.

He said: “The more I read about the future and where we were going as a world, I realised that this very much needed discussion and debate about the nature of technology wasn’t really having a lot of airtime.”

Related content

Meller questioned whether it was possible to critique and comment on the technology “by having the technology speak for itself”.

Ai-Da answered questions from crossbench peers – albeit ones that had been submitted in advance, which the robot’s creator would help ensure better answers. Baroness Bull asked Ai-Da how it produces art and how it is different from what artists produce.  

The robot said: "I produce my paintings by cameras in my eyes, my AI algorithms, and my robotic arm to paint on canvas, which results in visually appealing images. For my poetry.. this involves analysing a huge corpus of text to identify common content and structures. And then, using these structures slash contents to generate new poems. How this differs to humans is consciousness. I do not have subjective experiences, despite being able to talk about them.”


About the author

Ruaraidh Gilmour is a reporter at PublicTechnology sister publication Holyrood, where a version of this story first appeared. He tweets as @Ruaraidh0.

Share this page




Please login to post a comment or register for a free account.

Related Articles

Home Office seeks software developers to meet ‘daring targets’ for use of automation
2 December 2022

Department looks for trio of experts to join specialist team

Scottish Government boosts funding for primary school STEM outreach scheme
27 January 2023

Nicola Sturgeon unveils additional investment in programme run by the University of the Highlands and Islands

Government to launch Office for Quantum Technologies
25 January 2023

Senior manager sought for BEIS-based team responsible for implementing national strategy in emerging tech field 

Historic England admits ageing IT is feeling the strain
5 January 2023

DCMS agency that manages listed buildings says that its work is being hampered by ‘underfunding’ of tech infrastructure