gaomeilan – Reading02

The “10,000 Bowls of Oatmeal Problem” describes a problem that some algorithms in certain contexts can run into when generating a large amount of content. Though generative programs are technically capable of producing any amount of content, most are unlikely to generate perceptually  “interesting”, “novel”, or “unique” results when many artifacts have to be made.

Perceptual uniqueness is not necessary in contexts where “perceptual differentiation” is satisfactory enough – for example, if one was generating the appearance of multiple small details such as grains of sand or waves on water, slight variations to their appearance would be 1) less work for the creator of the generator 2) beneficial to creating a pleasing sense of visual uniformity. However, for larger, more noticeable things, such as say, fish in an aquarium, higher levels of differentiation are needed to prevent an “uncanny valley” effect. One could increase the amount of options that can be generated, or make the generative options as different as possible from each other.