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    When I was in high school, I had an Amiga 1200 (this was after Commodore had already gone under, around 1995 or so).

    On the Amiga, I had a copy of Vista from some Amiga magazine’s coverdisk. Vista was a landscape generation program (what was often called, back then, a “fractal landscape generator”). You plugged in parameters and it would generate beautiful, well, vistas.

    You could tune various parameters, and affect the look of the generated landscape. You could also import 3D models in…some relatively standard format, I don’t remember.

    So one weekend I generated a beautiful landscape. I imported a clipart 3D model of a spacecraft and positioned it over the landscape so it looked like it was flying low and fast over the ocean. I tweaked the model a bit, generated the landscape, got it just right, and rendered. On a stock A1200 this took several hours.

    I printed out the picture on my father’s color inkjet and took it to my art teacher at school for inclusion in my art class folder that we could use for extra credit. She said “did you draw this? Or did you just push some buttons?”

    If I’d known then what I know now, I would’ve said something like “yes, but the trick is knowing which buttons,” but instead I just hung my head and threw the printout away.

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      OT, but I’ve really been enjoying your newsletter.

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        Uhm…thank you? What newsletter? :)

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          case of mistaken identity I guess: https://thedorkweb.substack.com/

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      As an artist who uses generative methods, the big lesson here is that artists don’t make art: audiences do.

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        I wholeheartedly agree with the author but if you wish to sell your GAN outputs for $432,500 it’s more profitable to assign the authorship to the machine.

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          Copyright law treats ownership differently, but that is an entirely separate topic

          Perhaps a more important topic however. Whether we pat people on the back and say ‘that was all you’ is perhaps philosophically interesting in a navel gazing kind of way. Correcting journalists who make scientifically inaccurate statements is a fun hobby and I indulge it in myself fairly often. Nevertheless the question of who made the art has legal consequences. Some will become rich, others will struggle to put food on the table. This is a real question that actually matters. The issue is not restricted to machines either.

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            Since it is about art and its evolution, I feel tempted to paraphrase the title : https://invidio.us/watch?v=Ww861lDKXE0