A strange lens guru in a period of AI deception threatening the art of real photography

His series of photographs has become a modern pop-culture phenomenon, with his bizarre creations making headlines around the world. Mathieu Stern is a photographer, inventor, and artist who specializes in developing new cameras based on simple ideas.

Mathieu Stern somehow asked 16 artists to draw his portrait photos in their style. The results are fabulous. Some of these portraits are super realistic, some are cartoonish, some look like out of a Korean comics’ series, a fantasy series or super-digitalized movie animation.

Stern’s newest project features an artificial intelligence system that accepts short natural language text prompts and generates near photo-realistic images (often with uncanny results).

But here comes the question: does photography need the AI disruption? A decade-long trend in photography is to post-process an image to the point where it no longer resembles reality. It’s hardly surprising that AI image generators creating ‘photo realistic’ renderings are easily deceiving us. And perhaps the AI graphics generators are creating so much confusion partly because photo illustrations are accepted as being tied to reality, as it all starts with pressing a shutter button.

There is a tendency to go hyper when predicting how AI image generators will impact photography. The technology is powerful yet so new, leading to a widely-held belief that in a few years time it will completely destroy photography.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *