BIFA’s Official Statement regarding AI-generated images
Published: May 10, 2023
Recently the topic of AI-created images has become increasingly controversial amongst photographers, with many voicing concerns over how AI will impact the photography industry. There are many different, often conflicting, opinions as to whether AI-generated images can be defined as photography. And there are discussions around how to define images created using AI vs. images that are created or edited using other special-effects or retouching programs.
We feel that these issues will be debated for a long time to come, and while there are so many nuances and implications, we wanted to at least address the matter with regards to entries submitted to our photography competition.
We are now introducing a new category for AI-generated images specifically – these are images that have NOT been created using conventional photography methods, or simply digitally altered or edited, but created or generated solely by executing a command to AI.
It would be impossible for us to individually assess each submission before it’s entered and render a verdict as to whether it should be classified as photography based on how it was created. We rely on the integrity of the photographers to enter their work in the right category when they submit their work. There are many existing categories in which photographers can submit images that have been digitally edited or created using special effects with or without a camera, and now there will be a new category designated for AI-generated images.
We want to explore the frontiers of image-creation and be inspired by all the possibilities that modern technology brings to this industry. But we want to be clear in the boundaries between AI-generated images and images created using conventional methods, between technology and human creativity, between computer generated images and a photographer with a camera.
We are also keenly interested in the commands and language used to create AI-generated images, where the input and creative process, combined with AI, produces great images.
Again, we ask photographers who enter work that is AI-generated, to submit their images in the designated category—in this way we can continue to explore and experience this new and fascinating form of expression, and yet remain dedicated to recognising and honouring the true photographer’s art.
Published: June 27, 2023
Over the past weeks BIFA has received a lot of good feedback from photographers all over the world regarding the topic of AI-generated Images, and we wanted to announce two important amendments to our recent statement announcing the addition of a special category for AI-generated Images in the BIFA competition.
1. Separate Category for AI-Generated Images:
We are now moving AI-generated Images from sub-category in “Special” to its own separate category, so that AI-generated images will only be judged and compared against other images in that category. We may expand this category to include several sub-categories if volume and variety dictate.
2. AI-generated images only eligible for Category Prizes:
AI-generated Images will only be eligible for prizes within that category (gold/silver/bronze in sub-categories, and overall category), but will NOT be eligible for the Photographer of the Year and Discovery of the Year.
Entries submitted to the category for AI-generated Images category will be judged against other entries in the same category and will be awarded prizes within that category. BIFA’s top two awards, Photographer of the Year (Professional), and Discovery of the Year (amateur), will only be awarded to one of the 11 Photography Category Winners—excluding AI-Generated Images.
As we have stated previously, this is most certainly an issue that will continue to evolve as time and technology moves forward, but as we continue to appreciate and explore new and exciting mediums of expression and art, we want to stress that BIFA will always continue to stand true to its core mission to support and promote the photographers in our global community and the photography industry as a whole.