A German photographer recently refused to accept a prestigious award after admitting to using AI to generate the winning photograph.
The Guardian reports that by declining to accept a prestigious award at the Sony World Photography Awards, German artist Boris Eldagsen has sparked a heated discussion about the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in photography. Eldagsen acknowledged utilizing AI to produce the creative open category prize-winning image and is now using the uproar to promote a discussion on the interrelationship between AI and photography.
An AI-generated image by Boris Eldagsen wins Sony World Photography Awards pic.twitter.com/PWgiv4xaeL
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In a statement on his website, Eldagsen said, “We, the photo world, need an open discussion. A discussion about what we want to consider photography and what not. Is the umbrella of photography large enough to invite AI images to enter – or would this be a mistake? With my refusal of the award, I hope to speed up this debate.”
AI was used to create the winning image, which showed two women from different generations in black and white. Eldagsen contended that since artificial intelligence-generated images and conventional photography are separate art forms, they shouldn’t compete against one another for awards. “AI is not photography. Therefore, I will not accept the award,” he added.
Eldagsen also suggested giving the cash prize to a Ukraine-based photography competition hosted in Odesa. His actions come at a time when debate over the potential effects of AI technology is at an all-time high, with some expressing concern that it could permanently harm the human experience.
In response to the controversy, a spokesperson for the World Photography Organization stated that Eldagsen confirmed the “co-creation” of the image using AI before he was announced as the winner. After speaking with Eldagsen, they stated that they believed his entry met the requirements for the creative category of the open competition, which encourages innovative approaches to image creation.
However, the organization has since removed Eldagsen from the competition and suspended their activities with him, citing his deliberate attempts at misleading them and invalidating the warranties he provided. They continued, “We no longer feel we are able to engage in a meaningful and constructive dialogue with him.”
Despite this, the World Photography Organization recognized the significance of the topic and its influence on modern image creation. They stated that they welcome the discussion surrounding the subject and look forward to delving deeper into it through their various channels and programs while continuing to champion the brilliance and talent of photographers and artists working in the field.
Read more at the Guardian here.
Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan
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