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Themesicon: navigation pathAesthetics of the Digitalicon: navigation pathAesthetic Paradigms
Polygonzüge (Nake, Frieder), 1965

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term ‹pseudosimulation› would be applicable—and simulation as an exact copy of what is being simulated, with the only difference being the fact of the artificial production. The starting point for examinations in the field of AI is the question whether the technical reproduction of human thinking can be a simulation, and thus more than a pseudo-simulation. In the case of «Aaron» the question would accordingly be whether the program could be regarded as a simulacrum of the artist, just as Cohen could be regarded as the author of the works. If the question were answered in the affirmative, the next question would be: Can a computer simulate creative capability in the sense of aesthetics? From the 1960s onward this was a central point of discussion among computer artists and theorists (Frieder Nake, Abraham A. Moles, and others). Even if from the historical perspective the debate is not current, it is at present receiving new impetus from the growing possibilities of the AI systems as well as from their ever-more frequent employment in works of media art.

In recent years the AI specialist Margaret A. Boden has examined the relationship between informatics


and creativity, and also addressed the question of the extent to which a computer program might be able to generate creative ideas. One must begin, she says, by clarifying the meaning of the term creativity, which in her view consists in the ability of people to produce creative—that is, new, surprising and significant—ideas. AI systems such as «Aaron» can easily fulfil the parameters ‹new› and ‹surprising,› since the program’s activities are based on aesthetic parameters and random, unexpected transformations. The question of whether such systems comply with the criterion of significance is more difficult, she states, due to the dilemma that ideas can be described as meaningful or meaningless for any number of reasons in either case, and these reasons are dependent on place and time. [19] The question, therefore, would be whether a computer itself could recognize the value of its production. Two formulations of the problem are conceivable for Boden: one could deliberate whether evaluation criteria (deemed to be adequate) could be built into a program, which would then automatically apply these criteria to its own new ideas; or one could deliberate whether a program could itself be capable

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