Suspicion that a “artist” robot could be used for espionage led to her being banned for 10 days at Egyptian customs. Known as Ai-DaThe machine uses robotic arm cameras and artificial intelligence to make abstract paintings.
Ai-Da was created in 2019 by British Aidan Meller, owner of Barn Gallery, in England. He told the Guardian that the release was delayed because agents at the border were suspicious of the cameras and the robot’s modem.
Miller said he offered to remove the modem, but that he would need to keep the cameras that were used to allow the Ai-Da boards.
“She’s a robot artist, so let’s be clear about that,” Miller told the Guardian. “She’s not a spy.”
Ai-da, the robot that makes art – Photo: Disclosure
The robot was transported to Egypt to be one of the attractions of the contemporary art exhibition presented by the consultancy Art d’Egypte and the Egyptian Ministries of Tourism and Foreign Affairs.
The creator of Ai-Da said that the release was made after collaboration with the consultancy and the UK embassy in Cairo, the Egyptian capital. The embassy told the BBC: “We are pleased to see the robot artist Ida cleared of customs.”
Ai-Da head, a humanoid robot capable of drawing people using robotic eyes and hands. Photo: Reuters/Matthew Stock
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