Artist wins prestigious photography prize with AI, refuses the award, gets scrubbed from the competition, and says we need to talk about banning AI from this stuff

Last year saw the emergence of public-facing AI tools, and an ongoing slew of stories about how people are using the tech, as well as the debate over what it should be used for. Now an artist, who calls himself a “cheeky monkey”, has shocked the photography world by winning one of its major prizes, before revealing the ‘photograph’ was an AI creation, refusing the award, and calling for AI to be banned from such competitions. 

German artist Boris Eldagsen entered and won the creative open category at last week’s Sony World Photography Awards with an image called Pseudomnesia: The Electrician. As part of the judging process he also gave the judges certain assurances about the work, claiming it was a “co-creation” of AI. The creative category is specifically about original and experimental approaches to photography, so one can see that using cutting edge tech to assist in altering a photograph would seem to fit such criteria.

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