AI has learned to create realistic pictures, but it will not replace photographers

Neural networks can create paintings and realistic images that at first glance are indistinguishable from photographs. Australia-based photographer Gemma Pollari has raved about the power of artificial intelligence in a Photofocus column, but she’s convinced it can’t completely replace real-life camera shots just yet.

Neural networks are artificial intelligence-based tools that are trained by humans and computers from millions or billions of images. Models such as DALL-E 2, Stable Diffusion, or Midjourney can draw images based on users’ textual descriptions, such as “photo of a mountain lake”.

According to Gemma Polari, in order to get high-quality images, the user needs to learn how to use several algorithms and different parameters to adjust the picture, but this is quite simple. The photographer herself has been fascinated with computer graphics since 2001, when she installed a fractal generator (objects from many points) on her home computer, but neural networks are a completely different level.

“There’s something wonderfully uncanny about images. AI interprets what you’ve written, sometimes in bizarre and weird ways, creating pictures that make your head spin and you say, ‘That’s right, but that’s not how I imagined it.’ .

Gemma Polari believes that neural networks largely repeat the fate of cameras, which in the past came to replace artists and made it possible to create portraits in seconds instead of hours. However, just as photography could not completely replace painting, so neural networks will not be able to replace cameras due to technology limitations. Built-in filters prevent the creation of malicious or offensive content, in addition, existing AI cannot create images of real people (except very famous ones) or reuse elements in their other works.

“Obviously, it’s just not realistic. Photography is about capturing real people, real emotions, real landscapes, real moths, real bugs. It will never be replaced by AI. So play, explore new environments, get ideas and go. Your camera will wait for you to return,” summed up the photo artist.


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