Panicked? AI won
the World Photography Award

The Sony World Photography Awards is the only photography competition sponsored by Sony Group and sponsored by the World Photography Organization, which has been held since 2007 and has become one of the most influential photography awards in the world.

On April 4, the 13 Sony World Photography Awards Gala was held in London, England, and Boris Eldagsen, a photography artist from Germany, who was not invited to speak, rushed to the stage to take away the microphone, announcing that his winning work was created by AI image generator DALL-2023, and refused to accept the award. Boris Eldagsen's work "#电工" was the winner of the creative category of this competition, and after the incident, the competition official deleted the work on the official website, but did not reply to the matter.

Yangtze Evening News/Purple Cow News reporter Shen Zhao

Visual art or subverted, what about photographic art?

Song Jiao, vice chairman of the Nanjing Photographers Association and senior photojournalist of the Yangtze Evening News, said, "At present, the only problem that AI generates pictures cannot solve is the hand. The same is true of the work "#电工", which is very obvious that the three hands in the picture have different degrees of distortion and deformation.

How can such a picture still win an award? Song Feng believes that there may be two reasons, one is that the group of this picture is the "creative group", and the creative photography itself is not documentary, "The judges may also think that this twisted hand is the effect of the creator's deliberate production in order to express the identity of the electrician." Another possibility is that the judges lack the ability to distinguish between AI-generated images and photographic pictures, "Maybe in the future, the judges of the photo contest will have one more thing to distinguish the picture from the fake." ”

Song Feng believes that the wide application of AI-generated image functions may bring great changes to the evaluation of photographic art. Taking the National Design Art Exhibition as an example, this national photography award is classified into documentary, art, commercial and other image categories, "Maybe art and commercial photography awards will no longer exist." ”

Jiang Shu, secretary general of the Jiangsu Provincial Photography Association's Literary and Art Group Working Committee, believes that the impact of AI generation may not only be photographic art, but the entire field of visual art, "From the current point of view, three fields have been affected, photography, painting and design, and the technology of AI-generated video has also been developed." ”

Specific to photography, Jiang Shu mentioned, "In the past, when we shot commercials, we had to spend money on models and equipment, but now we can use artificial intelligence to casually generate a fashionable and beautiful model." ”

However, both Song Feng and Jiang Shu believe that AI will further highlight the value of photography as documentary art, "Documentary is still the core function of photography." ”

The shock is already coming, when will regulation come?

Not long ago, some netizens used AI spoofing to generate a series of fake news photos of "Trump arrested", which triggered concerns from all walks of life about the possible spread of false information caused by AI-generated technology and provoked public sentiment, and "need to supervise" has become a popular call from the public.

Tang Huawei, director of Jiangsu Photographers Association, believes that AI-generated images are actually a kind of creation, in the future photography and other art categories, there may be the birth of AI-specific creative types, there will be the birth of new jobs will be eliminated from old jobs, and new problems will continue to emerge if old problems are solved, "We need the competent authorities and relevant industry regulatory departments to introduce anti-counterfeiting measures, and also need to improve the moral accomplishment of practitioners." Tang Huawei said.

"For new [generative AI] technologies, there must be a proactive legislative approach, because it is too easy to create fake news." Jiang Shu believes that government departments need to pay attention to the various drawbacks that generative AI may cause as soon as possible, formulate industry rules, and guide industry self-discipline. ”

Similar to the impact of AI painting on artists, there are currently some practitioners in the photography industry who have strong resistance to AI-generated photographic pictures, but Jiang Shu has a fairly optimistic attitude towards AI, "In the past, we used a brush to record, and then we printed it with film, and then digital cameras, mobile phone shooting can be viewed on the Internet, and now the production of images through artificial intelligence, this is nothing more than another change in the production method, the essence has not changed, artificial intelligence is also a tool." Jiang Shu believes that this may still be a good thing for the public, "It is very valuable as a tool, everyone can become an artist, everyone's artistic dreams can be realized, and art is more commoner." ”