Meet Ai-Da, the robot artist on his way to the Venice Biennale


Image of the week: Ai-Da the artist

Every once in a while it seems wise to check how the bots are doing and what they’re up to this week. The answer, on this occasion, is to paint creatively and answer (pre-submitted) questions from journalists. The strange human resemblance Ai-Da, named in honor of mathematician and computer science pioneer Ada Lovelace, is a robot artist who will open her solo exhibition Leaping into the Metaverse – curated by its creator Aidan Meller – at the Biennale of Venice this year.

Ai-Da, which has already demonstrated its poetic abilities, was created over two years ago and is updated as AI technology improves. Meller told the Guardian that the first public demonstration of creative robotic painting at the British Library this week was not “can robots make art?” but “now that robots can make art, do humans really want it?” Ai-Da, meanwhile, says the artists she most admires are Yoko Ono, Doris Salcedo, Michelangelo and Wassily Kandinsky. Nice list.

By the Numbers: Twitter’s Change

$2.9 billion

The money Elon Musk, the world’s richest man, spent to buy a 9.2% stake in Twitter, the social media company with which he has a love-hate relationship. With his wealth swinging back and forth by $300 billion, that is, of course, loose change.

14.9%

Within hours, Musk had become Twitter’s 12th board member, his term running until 2024. His maximum stake cannot exceed 14.9% during that time, Twitter said. It can, however, wield a lot of power.

74%

Elon Musk’s poll voters on whether Twitter should have an edit button answered “yes” (his edit joke). Twitter has since confirmed that it is working on one. But that’s “since last year,” okay?

Getting to Know: Melanie Perkins and Cliff Obrecht

With a fortune of 6.5 billion dollars (6 billion euros) each, Melanie Perkins (34) and Cliff Obrecht (36) are Australia’s new billionaires, their fortunes stemming from their stakes in Canva, the manufacturer of graphic design software they co-founded with Cameron Adams in Sydney in 2013. Canva, worth $40 billion, is now “the hottest ticket in town”, according to the Australian Financial Review (AFR ).

From Perth, Perkins and Obrecht met at a fireworks display and became a couple, marrying in 2021. They first made money selling gun tattoos during fairs, then there was a yearbook business, until Perkins, now managing director of Canva, had the light bulb moment that people shouldn’t have to buy specialized software for web design.

Spirits are high. In a pre-Christmas company video call, there were songs, mock cocktail parties and the three founders dressed as dogs in what AFR described as a nod to the ‘fur babies’ phenomenon. of the pandemic. But Canva’s numbers are far from wacky: it has attracted 60 million monthly users to its freemium software and more than 5 million paid subscribers, and its revenue is now high enough to make any dog ​​shiver.

The List: Amazon’s Word Filter

The Intercept reported this week that Amazon is planning an internal messaging app in the US that will block or flag messages containing words it doesn’t like. Amazon responded that such an app, if approved, would only filter out “offensive or harassing” terms and declined plans to filter out “most words” on its listing. Let’s see a few of them anyway.

1. Union: Unions are the Kryptonite of Amazon judging by its efforts to prevent their formation. Nevertheless, workers at the retail giant’s Staten Island warehouse in New York have just succeeded in becoming the first Amazon employees in the United States to unionize.

2. Plantation: Several words related to slavery also appeared on the “automatic bad word monitor,” according to The Intercept.

3. Robots: Is the term “robots” offensive or harassing? If not, then it will probably be good to talk about it on the chat application offered.

4. “That’s Stupid”: Well, it sure would be.

5. Toilets: Amazon workers notoriously haven’t always had time to use them without missing their work quotas. Try instead to talk about “the servants” or “the bog”?

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