Lately we in the photography community have seen an uptick in articles in the photography press about AI – artificial intelligence – and the idea that it endangers the authenticity of photography.
When talking to some of my favorite photographers, I heard, not at all surprisingly, that we believe our own work isn’t immediately or directly threatened by this trend.
One question that comes to my mind early in these conversations is, “Why would you want to create artificial images?” The answer is discouragingly obvious: money. Nobody hires coders and puts them in front of sophisticated computers out of the goodness or their hearts, or even really out of curiosity. They just want to make money.
Photographers have to make a living too, of course.
One of my photographer friends in Tulsa has been trending toward the use of film and very old cameras as a way of reinforcing the idea that his work is authentic.
Another photographer, a friend here in town, was just recently pondering her point of view, and was asking herself some very relevant, very insightful questions, such as, “Do these photos really show who my client is, or just who I think she is?”
It’s a fine line, and one that many photographers can lose sight of as they try more and more to show off their skills, and try less and less to give the client, or in my case the public, what they need and have paid for.
Finally, of course, are the bigger-picture issues (pun intended) – is fake photography taking the place of and destroying real, authentic photography, photojournalism, and even the truth? Fake news, fake images, fake societies – what can we do to remain authentic?
Editor’s note: after running in my own newspaper, this item was picked up by Yahoo! News.