The Invention of Battlezone

Via IEEE Spectrum:

What the math box in Battlezone does is solve the matrix equations for vanishing-point perspective for all of the objects on the screen. To bring the problem within reach, the game is restricted to movement on a horizontal plane, reducing the matrix from 4 by 4 to 2 by 2. Much of the early work in designing Battlezone, Mr. Rotberg said, was involved in “figuring out how to organize the data.”

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The Invention of Battlezone

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