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Photographer Beats AI "Artists" by Winning an AI Image Competition With a Real Photo

Two can play that game.

Without a shred of doubt, one of the most infuriating things related to generative text-to-image AIs is when computer-made visuals win image and video competitions, receiving accolades for "creativity" where none whatsoever was expressed.

Over the years, we've witnessed several notable instances of this, with AI-generated entries triumphing over human-made works at the Colorado State Fair's fine art competition in 2022, the Sony World Photography Awards in 2023, and, to my personal disappointment as a big Pink Floyd fan, the band's The Dark Side of The Moon 50th anniversary competition earlier this year.

But two can play that game, as was recently proven by Photographer and Digital Artist Miles Astray, who used AI "Artists'" own weapon against them and submitted a real photo of a sleeping flamingo into the AI category of the 1839 Color Photography Awards, only to come off third-best and winning the People's Vote Award.

After the gig was up, however, Miles was promptly disqualified from the competition by the judges for not meeting the requirements of the AI-generated image category, an outcome that purportedly didn't bother the artist all that much, for as you probably have already guessed, the feat's main goal was to send a message and prove that no matter how much data AI developers scrape to train their robots, human creativity is not going anywhere.

"I wanted to show that nature can still beat the machine and that there is still merit in real work from real creatives," Miles told PetaPixel. "After seeing recent instances of AI-generated imagery beating actual photos in competitions, I started thinking about turning the story and its implications around by submitting a real photo into an AI competition."

Miles Astray

We highly encourage you to visit Miles' portfolio to see more of his amazing works. Don't forget to join our 80 Level Talent platform and our Telegram channel, follow us on InstagramTwitterLinkedInTikTok, and Reddit, where we share breakdowns, the latest news, awesome artworks, and more.

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