On Saturday 10th September, Museum Council Year Nine and Ten students co-hosted Ai-Da the robot at an all day event at the Weston Library as part of Oxford Open Doors. For the whole day, art work and creative writing exploring the possibilities of the future was on display in the main atrium, where the students spoke to members of the public about the various ideas and themes in the exhibition items. These ranged from robot designs for our robots outside at Cheney, to poems and artwork imagining A.I. in the future, to a set of storyboards created as part of our Dystopia Day last term.
At 11 to 12, the students were able to meet Ai-Da, see her create a brand new piece of artwork, and to hear about the reasons behind her creation by Ai-Da's creator, Aidan Mellor. Students spoke to the audience about the different A.I.-related events which they had taken part in throughout the year as part of the Rumble Museum programme, from A.I. Breakfast Talks and a visit to Oxbotica, to a school-wide competition to explore A.I. in art and writing.
Ai-Da appeared again to answer questions from the public in the afternoon in the main atrium.
As well as the Cheney displays, and Ai-Da herself, there were other A.I.-related stalls and displays which the over 700 visitors across the day were able to explore, such as a model of Charles Babbage’s Difference Engine in action and a robot ladybug that follows light and sound.
We are very grateful to the Bodleian Library and Ai-Da's team for collaborating with us on this exciting event, and to our team of amazing student volunteers for spending the whole day telling people about our work at the Rumble Museum and Cheney School.