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afaik this technique was first implemented in the early 90s: http://draves.org/fuse/

FTA: The “TextureSynthesis” method is based on the algorithm described in “Image Texture Tools,”[1] a PhD thesis by P. Harrison. This algorithm is an enhanced best-fit approach introduced in 1981 by D. Garber in “Computational Models for Texture Analysis and Texture Synthesis.”[2]

[1] http://www.logarithmic.net/pfh-files/thesis/dissertation.pdf

[2] http://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=910609

is Garber's thesis (or better yet, a paper summarizing it) available online?

There have been lots of advances since, under the term "content-aware fill". Lots of links from here https://www.adobe.com/technology/projects/content-aware-fill...

There's an oldish plugin for the GIMP called Resynthesizer, but there are better algorithms out now. G'MIC has one called "inpainting". http://gmic.eu/repository.shtml

Wolfram has a habit of not giving a lot of citations or hiding them under the small print in order to make it seem like he or his company came up with everything in a void.

Although this article isn't by Wolfram I agree that the philosophy of his company seems to be to hype products like any normal consumer company does. The problem is this doesn't really work when your selling and academic product. No programming language management organization will claim they are "revolutionizing programming" without strong qualifiers.

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