Artist uses AI to generate ’70s science fiction pulp artwork and titles

Whether you’re a hardcore sci-fi fan or have just been rummaging 70s paperbacks at a flea market, I’ll give you a moment to just soak this in before we get into the explanation of the machine learning techniques behind the scenes.

The way a lot of press gets this wrong, of course, is to say things like “the AI made some sci-fi book covers.” Even as these algorithms get a lot more sophisticated than averaged pixels or a Markov chain, they are still just algorithms, lacking in agency, albeit with enormous data sets as source material. In turn, though, that makes some of the aesthetic peculiarities they generate all the more interesting, and means that it’s helpful to understand them as generative tools in the hands of artists. They’re the outcome of a lot of human effort in mathematics, code, and ultimately human choice, even if that last bit upsets those in search of general artificial intelligence.

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Artist uses AI to generate ’70s science fiction pulp artwork and titles