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Human vs AI: How a Real Photo Won an AI Contest and the Photographer Was Disqualified

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Human vs AI: How a Real Photo Won an AI Contest and the Photographer Was Disqualified. Source: MilesAstray
Photo: Human vs AI: How a Real Photo Won an AI Contest and the Photographer Was Disqualified. Source: MilesAstray

Photographer Miles Astray submitted a real photo to a contest for images created by artificial intelligence and won the competition. After it became known that Astrei did not use AI to create the work, he was disqualified, The Guardian reports.

 "How my real photo FLAMINGONE won the AI award," the photographer wrote on his website.

"I entered this real photo into the AI category of the 1839 Awards to prove that human-generated content is still relevant, that Mother Nature and her human interpreters can still beat the machine, and that creativity and emotion are more than just a set of numbers," Estray wrote.

Estray said that FLAMINGONE was the perfect shot to get to the heart of the matter because "the scene is so unreal and for such a simple, natural reason: a flamingo scratching its belly."

After receiving the award, Estray told the team of jurors, who hold senior positions in image processing at the New York Times, Getty Images and Phillips, among other companies, that "FLAMINGONE" was indeed a real photograph. After that, 1839 Awards decided to disqualify Estrei's entry. The photographer himself says he agrees with this decision. 

"Let me start by saying that we really appreciate the powerful message that Miles conveyed by entering the AI category," said Lily Fierman, co-founder and director of Creative Resource Collective, the company that runs 1839 Awards among other photography competitions. "We agree that this is an important, relevant, and timely statement."

Fierman and the team agreed that it was unfair to the other entrants whose work met the rules.

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