Wednesday, December 1, 2021
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Egypt detains artist robot Ai-Da on suspicion it was part of an elaborate spy plot

In Summary

  • The robot was in the process of being transported to Cairo for the Forever Is Now exhibition.

Ai-Da, the world’s first ultra-realistic robot artist, was detained for 10 days by Egyptian security forces on suspicion of being involved in a spying plot.

Both Ai-Da and her creator Aiden Miller were held in Egyptian customs before being released on Wednesday. They were on their way to take part in an exhibition next to the pyramids in Giza.

According to Meller, the officials demanded the removal of her eyes – which contain cameras – after seizing her to which Meller replied was not possible as they were integral to her drawing, painting and sculpting.

She was finally cleared after intervention by the British embassy and is set to feature in the Forever Is Now exhibition.

Ai-Da, named after 19th century scientist and mathematician Ada Lovelace, was created by a team of programmers, art experts and engineers two years ago. She is said to be the world’s first ultra-realistic robot capable of drawing people from life.

Ai-Da with her artwork. PHOTO/COURTESY

The robotic hand calculates a virtual path based on what it sees in front of it and interprets coordinates to create a work of art. Her artwork has been displayed at various exhibitions and museums.

Ai-Da’s robotic arm that creates the works of art. PHOTO/COURTESY

Meller said that it was the first time in 4,000 years that contemporary art has been allowed so close to the pyramids and also thanked the British embassy in Cairo for ‘the amazing work they are putting in to get Ai-Da released’.


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