The Egyptian border detained a robot artist because they thought the AI-creation had a sinister purpose other than what was declared. It took ten days before the owner of the robot convinced everyone it was harmless and did art!
The robot owner explained that Ai-Da, the machine made in Britain, uses tools and technology to paint art, not hack into anything. The machine's creator, Oxford-based gallery owner Aidan Meller was surprised the robot caused a consular commotion for the British Ambassador.
AI robot artist detained in Egypt in suspicions of being a spy
Mr. Meller was made late in attending an art exhibit in Cairo with Ai-da's art in it, but the delay in customs involved the British Ambassador that took a while, reported the Daily Mail.
It was a cliffhanger as the robot is named after the 19th-century scientist and mathematician Ada Lovelace was allowed to be taken from detention last Wednesday, bare hours before the art show started.
The British Embassy said, in a statement, they are glad that the problem was resolved. Before Ai-Da was detained, the robot owner said the British Ambassador was working on getting his robot out as soon as can be. He added the wait was getting stressful.
One of the reasons why Ai-Da drew suspicions from customs agents is the modem. Other than that, nothing else mattered except it could use the internet, cited What's New 2day.
To resolve the issue, Meller said he could take the modem out. But the guard demanded the camera be removed as well. But Meller argued, saying that he couldn't remove the eyes because the robot needed them to paint. Due to the delay, Ai-Da nearly missed the art show.
Egypt exhibit will showcase works of AI artist robot
The art exhibition called 'Forever is Now' held by the Art D'Egypte, starts October 21 to November 7.
Ai robot artist Ai-Da will showcase her artwork, a huge sculpture of herself that includes three legs like the Riddle of the Sphinx, noted the BBC. This riddle has the answer as human, while young goes on fours, adults on two feet, and older people who use a cane to walk.
Meller explained that AI and robotics are part of the drive for immortality, like Egyptian mummification is the same idea, living after death.
Capabilities of the AI robot artist
Robotic engineers in Leeds built the machine about two years back. Ai-Da's mechanical hand can decide what to paint or draw from what it sees with the cameras as eyes. The AI robot, designated as female, is the first to draw people like a natural person.
This unique mechanical way of creating art is a big hit with many galleries all over the world. Places like the Design Museum and Tate Modern are but a few of the art centers.
Meller mentions the art show is the closest to the ancient pyramid for the first time in 4,000 years. He added that Ai-Da is an innovative use of technology to show machines can do exciting things to make art like a human.
Meller states that Ai-Da is a machine that can be switched off. Following Ai-Da's release after ten days, Meller and his AI robot artist entered Egypt just hours before the exhibition opened, nearly missing the art show.