What is the place of artificial intelligence in art? Last September, the work Space Opera Theater created for the Colorado State Fair by IA Midjourney opened the debate. Today it is raging. And the Sony World Photography Awards competition paid the price this year.
One of the winners, German artist Boris Eldagsen, who won for his photo Pseudomnesia: The Electrician, refused his prize after revealing that his image, a black and white portrait of two women, was entirely generated by intelligence artificial, reports BBC News.
"Thank you for selecting my image and making it a historic moment, as this is the first AI-generated image to win a prize in a prestigious international photography competition," the artist said on its official website. Images created by artificial intelligence and traditional photography should not compete in a prize like this. They are different entities. AI is not photography. Therefore, I will not accept the award.”
Boris Eldagsen misled contest organizers about the extent of the AI involved in the snap, according to BBC News. He presented his work as an image intertwining the techniques of traditional photography and those of artificial intelligence. "The category in which the photographer would compete welcomes various experimental approaches to image making," said a spokesperson for the World Photography Organization. Thus, following our correspondence with Boris and the guarantees he provided, we considered that his candidacy met the criteria for this category, and we supported his participation”.
The photographer used this stratagem to assess the seriousness of the competition and to stimulate debate on the future of photography. "I applied like a cheeky monkey (...). But we photographers need an open discussion. A discussion on what we want to consider as photography and what is not”, he justified. Also according to BBC News, the organizers recognize the need to debate the subject.