German Photographer Boris Eldagsen Wins Award For AI Generated Image

Take a look at Pseudomnesia: The Electrician by German Photographer Boris Eldagsen

Although named a winner of this year’s Sony World Photography Awards, German photographer Boris Eldagsen did not accept the award for his submission under the Creative category. It could be mind boggling as to why an artist would decline the honor for their entry, but there are morals behind the reasoning of his choice.

Eldagsen’s photo titled Pseudomnesia: The Electrician alludes to a 1940s family portrait in which two women from different generations are seated. All of the credit can’t be taken on Eldagesen’s part, as the photo was produced using OpenAI’s DALL-E 2 image generator. While some contestants criticized Eldagsen for making “deliberate attempts” to mislead, other members of the judging panel contend they were aware the work was AI-generated in advance.

According to German photographer Boris Eldagsen, he wasn’t exactly hiding the fact he used an AI generated image. His intent was to “drive debate” about how this new technology is currently redefining how we view photography as a whole. The board members of the Sony World Photography Awards stated that they were well aware of this.

German Photographer Boris Eldagsen
World Photography Organisation

“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,” stated a spokesperson for the Sony World Photography Awards. “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.”

These claims have been debunked by Eldagsen, who wrote on his website that the competition was “pretending” to know about the AI generated image’s creation, and that it “was only when the international photo community took up the issue on social media and discussed it so intensively that the Times and BBC inquired, that CREO stopped being silent.”

As of now, the competition has removed Pseudomnesia: The Electrician from entry and will no longer communicate with German photographer Boris Eldagsen by rescinding the award.

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