Artist, A Sarojini Naidu School Of Arts Alum, Reveals Award-Winning Pic Is AI-Generated

Artist, A Sarojini Naidu School Of Arts Alum, Reveals Award-Winning Pic Is AI-Generated

German artist Boris Eldagsen refused the Sony World Photography Award 2023 after revealing that his work was an Artificial Intelligence (AI) creation. Last week at the Sony World Photography Award, his entry titled ‘Pseudomnesia: The Electrician’, won the creative open category. He issued a statement on his website in which he called himself a ‘cheeky monkey’ while thanking the judges for selecting his image and questioning if any of them knew or suspected whether it was an AI-generated image or not, reported the BBC.

In the statement, Eldasgen, who studied fine art at the Sarojini Naidu School of Arts and Communication in Hyderabad, said, “AI images and photography should not compete with each other in an award like this. They are different entities. AI is not photography. That’s why I will not accept the award.” He further added, “Something about this doesn’t feel right, does it?” That something was the image not being original but a synthetically-produced one with the help of technology.

He further 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.”

Organizers of the award while talking to the BBC said that the artist had misled them about the extent of AI that would be involved in making the picture. A spokesperson for the World Photography Organisation, the photography strand of art events organizers Creo, said that during the discussions that the panel held with the artist, he had confirmed that the picture was ‘co-created’ with AI.

While talking to BBC, he said, “The creative category of the open competition welcomes various experimental approaches to image making from cyanotypes and rayographs to cutting-edge digital practices. As such, following our correspondence with Boris and the warranties he provided, we felt that his entry fulfilled the criteria for this category, and we were supportive of his participation. Additionally, we were looking forward to engaging in a more in-depth discussion on this topic and welcomed Boris’ wish for dialogue by preparing questions for a dedicated Q&A. with him for our website.

He further said, “As he has now decided to decline his award we have suspended our activities with him and in keeping with his wishes have removed him from the competition.”

The debate about AI entering into this world allegedly began last September when an AI-generated image won a US state art competition.


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