Banazîr the Jedi Hobbit (banazir) wrote,
Banazîr the Jedi Hobbit

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Cyber-Art: Cohen's _AARON_ and beyond

My CIS 990 seminar yesterday (Wed 16 Apr 2003) featured a talk by Harold Cohen from the 2001 Innovative Applications of Artificial Intelligence (IAAI) conference, collocated with IJCAI-2001.

AARON is one of the first non-photorealistic art-generating programs, developed by Professor Cohen over the past 30 years. First, you can see some scans of its paintings at Hank Morgan's SciNetPhotos page on AARON. Professor Brian J. Rosmaita, now of Hamilton College, maintains an excellent page of links to resources on AARON. Here, you can view one of AARON's most famous paintings, Meeting On Gauguin's Beach (1988).

Here is a thumbnail of the painting:

Intrigued? You can download the free AARON screensaver distributed by Ray Kurzweil's company.

Pamela McCorduck wrote a book on AARON titled Aaron's Code: Meta-Art, Artificial Intelligence and the Work of Harold Cohen, which was reviewed in the Dr. Dobb's Journal Electronic Review of Computer Books column.

Dr. Cohen has been asked by at least one person to distribute AARON as open source. Although he declined to do this, he has always been open and willing to answer questions about the program. I have yet to see a SourceForge project or similar effort to develop a similar system. Perhaps this is just as well, for, as we discussed today, many AI researchers (including Cohen himself) hold that a truly sustainable and creative generative art system should be able to adapt, modifying itself in a closed-loop mode and reasoning reflexively about external feedback - including observations of its own creations.



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