and is it art?

With this post is a reminder to often check out 3 quarks daily, a group blog for those who like to have their brains prodded.
I read the post that linked to this soon after I had a look at some photos that my amateur photographer daughter had been playing with, using some trial software. The item is about “computational photography” and is about innovations in digital cameras, but the concept includes innovations in software a well.
This landscape photo of hers, for example, she transformed to look as though it had brush strokes in it. This one turned into a watercolor.
What will these new technological capacities for creating “art” mean for the value (monetary, aesthetic, and historical) of the more traditional artist?
And it’s not just the two-dimensional visual arts techniques that are changing. Creative writing has reached a new frontier as well. 3 quarks daily cites an article in The Guardian that reports:

The book-writing machine works simply, at least in principle. First, one feeds it a recipe for writing a particular genre of book – a tome about crossword puzzles, say, or a market outlook for products. Then hook the computer up to a big database full of info about crossword puzzles or market information. The computer uses the recipe to select data from the database and write and format it into book form.

Phillip M. Parker, the inventor of the system, gives his reason for inventing it:

“there is a need for a method and apparatus for authoring, marketing, and/or distributing title materials automatically by a computer.” He explains that “further, there is a need for an automated system that eliminates or substantially reduces the costs associated with human labour, such as authors, editors, graphic artists, data analysts, translators, distributors, and marketing personnel.

I can’t help wondering if the next steps will be to program machines to actually do the painting, take and make the photos, write the books, make the movies……
Will actual human creative processes become obsolete and will we become — as we almost are already — just consumers??
Will the offspring of Roomba leave no place for future Rembrandts?

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