Winner of prestigious photo competition admits image was generated by AI

Boris Eldagsen's photo won the creative open category in the prestigious Sony World Photography Award whose winners were announced last week. Turns out though, Eldagsen was being a "cheeky monkey," as he described himself upon admitting that the winning image—titled "Pseudomnesia: The Electrician"—was created by generative artificial intelligence.

"Thank you for selecting my image and making this a historic moment, as it is the first AI generated image to win in a prestigous international PHOTOGRAPHY competition," Eldagsen said in a statement posted on his website. "How many of you knew or suspected that it was AI generated? Something about this doesn't feel right, does it? AI images and photography should not compete with each other in an award like this. They are different entities. AI is not photography. Therefore I will not accept the award."

From the BBC News:

A spokesperson for the World Photography Organisation, the photography strand of art events organisers Creo, said that during their discussions with the artist, before he was announced as the winner, he had confirmed the piece was a "co-creation" of his image using AI.

He noted his interest in "the creative possibilities of AI generators", while "emphasising the image heavily relies on his wealth of photographic knowledge".[…]

"The creative category of the open competition welcomes various experimental approaches to image-making, from cyanotypes and rayographs to cutting-edge digital practices," they said.

"As such, following our correspondence with Boris [Eldagsen] and the warranties he provided, we felt that his entry fulfilled the criteria for this category, and we were supportive of his participation.