German photo artist explores risks and fun of AI

STORY: This is German photo-media artist Boris Eldagsen.

His name hit the headlines when he refused to accept a Sony World Photography Award...

...for this AI-generated image he submitted.

By entering his work, Eldagsen says he wanted to start a conversation -- about the risks and possibilities of AI technology in photographs.

ELDAGSEN: "The basic problem I see for a democracy in photojournalism is that the images are no longer distinguishable."

His question is this:

Are we prepared for a world with more inauthentic images than real ones?

"If you think in terms of social media, then the authentic images will be here and the inauthentic images will become more and more. Because anyone who is somehow between eight and 88 could do it and can feed it into social media: For fun or to create disinformation. And the question is, how can we maintain a base for democracy where we know which are the facts?"

To better address the topic of AI in the future,

Eldagsen says he'd like to see a change in terminology from ‘Photography’ to ‘Promptography’ -- a word that Peruvian Photographer Christian Vinces came up with.

A prompt is a code, text, or image used to create AI content.

His stunt in April came as new AI programs like Chat GPT have smashed records for user growth...

...and seem poised to transform human expression.

But the legal system still hasn't figured out who owns the output.

"But that's exactly what would happen, with the camera, you could say: The person who designed the camera also has a share in the copyright. So it is a bit trickier."

G7 leaders have agreed that nations should adopt "risk-based" AI regulation.

European lawmakers are also in a hurry to introduce an AI Act to enforce rules on tools like ChatGPT.

"We are now looking at a future where everything that formerly had an authority in terms of providing some sort of evidence can be generated. The voice, photos, moving images. And until now we have held on to these things as a naïve evidence of reality."