It’s not just artists that have to worry about AI stealing their jobs now. Portrait photographer, Joe Avery has recently confessed to Ars Technica about using his AI art for this portraiture photography and passing it off as his own.
His camera of choice, which he claimed to be a ‘Nikon D810 with 24-70mm lens’, was actually just a subscription to Midjourney, an AI image creator. After writing the prompts for his images, he then selects the best ones before editing them in Photoshop and Lightroom. He then posts the pictures with a (clearly labelled fictional) story behind the ‘person’ as the caption.
Having created his Instagram account in October of 2022, his ‘photography’ had amassed over 15,000 followers, with hundreds of comments praising his skills and work.
Speaking to Ars Technica, Avery tried to defend his actions, comparing using AI images to makeup and cosmetic surgery.
Avery has yet to disclose his use of AI art to his followers directly, but has changed his Instagram bio to mention ‘AI, photos, digital art’. Although this may seem like a step in the right direction, it does not gloss over the fact that of Avery’s 160+ posts, only two are real photographs.
The debate surrounding AI generated content, whether it’s photographs, art, or even writing, has been scaldingly hot lately thanks not only to recent advancements within the technology but also public availability. It remains a controversial topic, especially ethically, considering how it often abuses actual artists and writers’ work without their permission.