As is the case in many fields, AI has created turmoil in the field of photography. The photographic society that I belong to has created an edict that if a photographer is caught submitting an AI generated image in a competition, he/she will be barred from future competitions.
Now, here is the problem. Most photographs that are entered into competition are modified in some way using post-processing software, such as Lightroom or Photoshop. These, and other such software are being enhanced so that they can benefit from AI capabilities. So, many images already have AI incorporated in them.
Where do you draw the line?
The person running our camera club, an accomplished photographer himself, is putting together a position paper for the photographic society on what should be acceptable and what should not be. He is going through all types of details but looking at what he has created so far, it is impossible to judge if an image was AI generated or by a person.
One possibility he is examining is that AI images generated using text prompts should be banned. That would permit AI assisted postprocessing software to pass the muster.
Are we splitting hairs here?
How is the judge going to know what was the genesis of an image? Was it created in a camera and modified, or it came out of a computer? If latter is the case, it is being banned at the moment. One solution maybe that the camera makers will provide a digital proof, like a watermark in the old days, on all images that started from camera. Or, they will be honest and only submit camera generated images.
Afterall, what are we judging, is it the image or the process used to create the image? Why is it important for an image to be born inside a camera? Why can’t the judge just look at the end product and say if he/she likes it or not?
I belong to a photo sharing site called Flickr. Many photographers (image makers?) post AI generated images that are gorgeous in their own merit. Some are impossible to distinguish from real photographs. I indicate my “fave” to those images just as if they are taken conventionally. There is no other way.
Will the photographic club become an image maker club? Will the future awards be given to the image makers, who may not be photographers?
Will they even be humans?