The Pioneering AI Art of Harold Cohen: How Aaron Shook the Art World in the 1970s

How an AI drawing programme shook up the art world of the 1970s
Harold Cohen (1928-2016) was a Stanford visiting scholar in 1971. He created a computer programme called Aaron there to answer the question \”What are minimum conditions for a set marks to function as an image?\”

Aaron’s first version generated abstract drawings. In the 1980s, later iterations drew animals, rocks, plants and people. Cohen’s program is one of the earliest examples of AI being used to create art.

Cohen predicted in a 1982 paper titled, \”How to Make a Drawing,\” that advances in AI would lead to a \”cultural shift of unprecedented proportions.\”


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