• AI generated image © Tim Levy
    AI generated image © Tim Levy

While we may still be laughing at AI's attempts at creating portraits of people with three legs and 12 fingers, we have to remember that AI is being incorporated in our photography through other, not as ridiculous ways. Adding 'extra bleed' to an image to allow an image to fit a specific website or magazine layout is an incredible time saver. Denoising images shot at super-high ISO is also a god-send. And of course, erasing unsightly unwanted object or even creating nicer backgrounds for portraits are still subtle ways to 'improve' our images.

But when it comes to photographic prizes, not many organisers have taken the controversial plunge and allowed AI. After all, should you really reward someone who just came up with a bunch of word prompts in mere seconds VS someone who has sunk so much time, money and effort to construct a real photograph?

© Tim Levy
AI generated image © Tim Levy

So it may come as a bit of a surprise that this years Brisbane Portrait Prize is unashamedly allowing AI to be used. While primarily being a portrait painting prize, it also has a Digital Award which is aimed at photographers and photo media practitioners.

The Terms & Conditions for the Digital Award includes that the image must be: 'An original artwork, entirely completed and owned outright by you. QPP accepts entries that were completed in whole or in part by generative artificial intelligence (AI), subject to compliance with these terms.'

Furthermore, in the Entries Conditions it states: 'If your entry was completed in whole or in part by AI, when you submit your entry you must provide a brief description of the AI tools and methodologies employed in the creation process and QPP reserves the right to publish this information alongside the exhibited artwork to promote transparency;'

So it is going to be interesting to see which image will win, and will AI feature subtly or obviously in any of the top prizes for this competition?

While many will welcome or are reluctantly forced to tolerate AI, we can be guaranteed some interesting times ahead over the next few years as we see it incorporated into our lives not only with our art, but with everything from writing novels to workplace productivity, to autonomous creation & design, to robotics and self-driving cars.