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ACG@home: Automatic culture generator

Automatically generate all possible forms of human art.
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The idea behind the Lagado automatic writing machine, as described in Gullivers travels, was that it would generate every possible book of science, literature and poetry, by randomly combining the sings of the local language, and then storing and combining the meaningful bits. In the time this idea was put forward it was of course totally fictional, due to the state of the technology at the time. Since the advent of computer technology more similar ideas have been put forward. For example: 20 years ago my dad bought a microcomputer, with 32kb storage. In a magazine a program was published that would fill the memory with random noise and then attempt to execute it. In this way, it was possible to obtain every potential program for this computer. It would take thousands of years, but still...a fascinating thought.

ACG@home works on the same principle. A supercomputer squits out gigabytes of random noise every second. All this data is collected, and divided in packages, that are sent to thousands of users on the internet who have installed the ACG@home software. Whenever a user is not fully utilising the processing power of his or her computer, the noise is scrutinised automatically by the ACG@home software for meaningful stuff. Words, music, continuous tone graphics, even video. Whenever a bit is found that is descernible as meaningful in some way, it is displayed to the user, and then returned to ACG@home.

In this way, the combined processing power of all internet users can possibly generate potentially every poem, every novel within the next 10 or so years. Music, photography or even video will take a bit longer probably, but hey, it's worth the wait...

Ehrm, Sep 18 2002

just a thought but you would think that sunrises would be more important to us than sunsets! http://www.correct....images/sunrises.jpg
[po, Sep 18 2002, last modified Oct 17 2004]

Paramind http://www.paramind.net/
[ty6, Sep 18 2002, last modified Oct 21 2004]

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       sunsets are gorgeous but they must be associated with "oh my gawd, where is the sun going?" but sunrises should be associated with "thank gawd, its back"   

       are sunsets more beautiful?
po, Sep 18 2002

       There used to be a similar idea where a display would change one pixel at a time in an effort to create every possible image. I imagine you'd also eventually create every possible page of text (in every language) this way (including sheet music).
phoenix, Sep 18 2002

       Infinite monkeys @ typewritersb via distributed computing. Old idea, really, isn't it?   

       How did you arrive at that 10-year figure!?   

       I always thought this was a bogus theory anyway. This is simply unworkable.   

       Eg. Among all the works this would produce, you'd get the complete version of Tolstoy's "War and Peace", as well as a totally other edition differing from the original by a single letter - one of these for every letter in the book. Then you'd get all of the editions that differ from the original by 2 letters, etc. There'd be so much material it would be quite literally impossible to go through it all to determine which of the several hundred trillion copies of "War and Peace" (or "Was and Peace", "War and Qeace", etc) was the actual version.   

       And that's all for just one book.
waugsqueke, Sep 19 2002

       It's at least as good as some 'art' I've run across. And if someone were to take a crap on the keyboard, it's a shoe-in for the Turner prize...
StarChaser, Sep 19 2002

madradish, Sep 19 2002

       Ehrm, although your device might well be able to randomly create, say, a nice picture of the sunset it would just be a curiosity rather than art. I think that you'll find that the process of creating 'culture' requires some human input. To my mind, part of what makes art art is the skill and effort that is put into it's creation.
DrBob, Sep 19 2002

       // the noise is scrutinised automatically by the ACG@home software for meaningful stuff //   

       And how exactly will that occur? I'm not aware that anyone's programmed a computer that can recognise poetry, art or literature. Or meaning, whatever that dubious concept is: emotional response? resonance with human spectators? Not something algorithms can detect.   

       Without blueprints for a meaningfulness filter, isn't this just a WIBNI of the highest order?
pottedstu, Sep 19 2002

       If you can program face recognition, you can program something that recognizes "meaningful stuff". You just have to define "meaningful stuff". If you can do that, you can program the computer to *create* the art in the first place (following the patterns you have coded in, of course), thereby eliminating any need for a million monkeys.   

       If you want to analyze random data, go look for faces on the surface of Mars.
DrCurry, Sep 19 2002


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