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Photographer disqualified from competition after his real photo wins in AI category

15:44, June 13

A photographer was disqualified from a competition after his real photo won in the AI-generated image category.

Miles Astray submitted a real—albeit surreal—photograph of a flamingo in the artificial intelligence (AI) category, which not only came third, but also won the People's Vote award.

“I wanted to show that nature can still beat the machine and that real work by real creatives still has its merits,” Astray told PetaPixel.

“With recent cases of AI-generated images outperforming real photos in competitions, I started thinking about upending the story and its implications by submitting a real photo to an AI competition.”

The color photography competition is judged by experts from The New York Times, Getty Images, Phaidon Press, Christie’s, and Maddox Gallery. Obviously, no one realized that Astray's photograph was real.

In an email to PetaPixel, competition organizers said that while they appreciated Astray's "powerful message," his entry was disqualified due to other entries.

“Our competition categories are specifically defined to ensure fairness and clarity for all participants,” said a spokesperson. “Each category has separate criteria that the participants’ images must meet. His work did not meet the requirements for the category of images created by artificial intelligence. We understand that was the point, but we don't want to stop other artists from winning in the AI category."


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