AI Image Wins Sony World Photography Award, Then Disappears… by Jose Antunes

AI Video & Visuals

AI Image Wins Sony World Photography Award, Then Disappears... Although there is no official statement yet, Sony has revealed that “THE ELECTRICIAN” was produced by AI from the “PSEUDOMNESIA | PSEUDOMNESIA | Sony World Photography Awards 2023 Opening Exhibition”.

An AI-generated image from Absolutely Eye Studio recently won a small photo contest held by the Australian Photo Business, but this is different. Boris Erdagsen’s image was selected by the jury for the Sony World Photography Awards 2023 in the Open Competition/Creative category, where the author rejected the award with a surprising speech at the opening ceremony of the exhibition at Somerset House, London and said:

“Thank you for choosing my image and making this a historic moment. It was the first image generated by AI in a prestigious international photography competition.

How many of you knew or suspected it was AI-generated? Something about this just doesn’t feel right, right?

AI images and photos should not compete for such awards. they are different entities. AI is not photography. Therefore, I do not receive any awards.

I applied as a cheeky monkey to see if there was a competition set up for AI images to enter. isn’t it.

We, the world of photography, need open discussion. A discussion about what we want to consider photos and what we don’t. Is the umbrella in the photo big enough to entice the AI ​​image, or is this a mistake?

By declining the award, I would like to accelerate this debate.

Having been a photographer for 30 years before turning to AI, I understand the pros and cons of this debate and am happy to join the conversation.

Sony’s action after the exposure was swift. According to Boris Eldagsen, “my image and name have now been removed from the SWPA webpage” and the image is no longer displayed at the London exhibition. The photographer also said: don’t try to contact me Not in person at the award ceremony, not by email or phone. ”

AI Image Wins Sony World Photography Award, Then Disappears...
“Pseudonesia | THE ELECTRICIAN” Wins SWPA, Whatever Happens Next

Judges must request RAW files of all photos…

AI poses a new problem for photo contest judges. In recent years, with the development of editing tools that could alter photos that were unimaginable decades ago, photo contests have introduced the requirement for participants to present her RAW files of the winning photos, but AI There is no competition for assignments created by . As Boris Eldagsen said in a statement, this example took place almost 20 years ago in a competition now considered the most important of its kind, and what photography is about. , confirms that there must be a debate about what AI is.

One thing is clear, even though the images have been removed from Sony’s webpage and the exhibition at Somerset House in London, the footage for “PSEUDOMNESIA | THE ELECTRICIAN” won the prize and was selected by the jury. . As a photo or as an AI work?

As Boris Erdagsen notes on his website, the puzzling thing about this whole story is that he wrote this to Sony after the awards were announced last March.

I have been taking pictures since 1989 and have been working as a photo media artist since 2000. After 20 years of photography, my artistic focus has shifted to exploring the creative possibilities of AI generators.

The work SWPA has selected is the result of a complex interplay of rapid engineering, restoration, and restoration utilizing my extensive knowledge of photography. For me, working with AI image generators is a co-creation that I direct. It’s more than just pressing a button. Starting with refining text prompts, developing complex workflows, combining different platforms and techniques to explore the complexities of this process. The more you create such a workflow and define the parameters, the higher the creative part.

For the first time in Germany I taught this as a craft in an open online workshop:

I call my images “images”. They are produced synthetically using “photography” as a visual language. They are not “pictures”.

By participating in the public call, we hope to speed up the process of award organizers recognizing this difference and creating another competition for AI-generated images.

Having given public lectures and acted as a consultant to universities, journals, institutions, festivals, museums and organizations, I understand my role as a practitioner of knowledge transfer. I am a member of the AI ​​working group at Deutscher Fotorat. In this working group, the German Photographic Society discusses the possibilities and risks of this whole disruptive technology.

I am very happy to have won the creative category of the Sony World Photography Awards 2023 / Open Competition / Single Image. ”

AI Image Wins Sony World Photography Award, Then Disappears...
Boris Erdagsen’s inappropriate remarks at the Sony World Photography Awards dinner

Pandora’s box is now open

Therefore, Boris Erdagsen warned the Sony World Photography Awards that his images were not conventional photographs, but added the following footnote to what he wrote above: He said: Generated by AI or appropriately answering press inquiries. )” In an interview with the author sent to Talking Pictures in early April, the whole story up to the new development is explained in detail.

After he made an impromptu announcement at the Sony World Photography Awards 2023 dinner and winners reception and refused to accept the award, his photos have been removed from both the exhibition and website. But Pandora’s box is now open…

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