Can robots replace Michelangelo? It’s new tech's turn to create and sculpt.

Meet the first robot artist to stage a solo exhibition

Is human touch necessary to produce art?

In Carrara, a town famous for its white marble, new tech is transforming the traditional handmade marble-sculpting techniques.

A team of robots is accepting commissions, carving with pinpoint precision, as ABB2, a 13-foot, zinc-alloy robotic arm, extends its spinning wrist and diamond-coated finger toward a gleaming piece of white marble.

Manual labor is difficult, hard work. It took 5 years for the great artist Canova to complete his neo-classical masterpiece, ‘Psyche Revived by Cupid’s Kiss.’ It took only 270 hours of a robot to create a reproduction of it.

It, of course, could not have conceived it.

So can robots make art or not?

Ai-Da’s just became the first robot artist to stage a solo exhibition, and she’s the latest AI innovation to blur the boundary between machine and artist.

In the mid-20th century, “cybernetic artists” began to work with automatons. The polishartist Edward Ihnatowicz created The Senster, an electromechanical sculpture that could move and respond to people around it in a surprisingly lifelike manner.

New tech versus heritage

The creation of automata, mechanical devices driven by cogs, goes back centuries. These “robots” found their greatest expression in the incredible feats of mechanised Karakuri puppets in Japan and the clockwork automata of Europe in the 17th and 18th centuries.

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