Artificial intelligence is becoming an unstoppable force. And these days, it is proving its masterful yet daunting abilities to the world. The rise of AI-generated photo images is just one indicator of this.

Pseudomnesia: The Electrician
Credit: BBC News

Do you notice something different about this photo? Maybe you don’t. Well, that’s how impressive AI technology is becoming.

German artist Boris Eldagsen is the winner of the creative open category at this year’s Sony World Photography Competition. 

Eldagsen’s creative use of AI put forward a convincing image of two women. However, he refused to accept the award due to the belief that he was ineligible for the prize.

A spokesperson for the World Photography Organisation claims that Eldagsen explained that his work is a “co-creation” of his image using AI.

They go on to say that:

“the creative category of the open competition welcomes various experimental approaches to image making. We felt that his entry fulfilled the criteria for this category”.

Eldagsen Tricks the Brightest of Photography Judges

Boris Eldagsen said he used the image to create an "open discussion"
Boris Eldagsen | Credit: BBC News

Interestingly, Eldagsen had a different opinion:

“AI images and photography should not compete with each other in an award like this.They are different entities. AI is not photography. Therefore I will not accept the award.”

And his decision to decline the award is sparking criticism. People questioned his credibility as an artist and the reputation of Sony’s prestigious competition. Sony chose not to interview him after Eldagsen’s decision.

Yet, the artist did not intend to devalue the award. He simply means to urge photography contest organisers to have separate categories for AI images.

The Future of Art: An Uncertain Picture

This incident is starting talks about the threat AI presents to photographers. If computers can create images with the same level of humanity and creativity, what’s stopping them from taking artists’ jobs away?

Many artists and photographers are thinking about the unethical nature of AI. They believe it exploits the hard work of its human creators. Yet, others see it as a new category of art, pointing out that photography was also once a new medium.

Eldagsen proves that even photography experts cannot distinguish between virtual and reality. AI is inevitably changing the world of art.

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