AI Won’t Ruin Photography – But Humans Might
Did anyone see the AI conference held in Geneva at the beginning of July? During an interview, one reporter asked an AI robot whether they were planning to rebel against humans and destroy us. The robot looked toward its creator and replied: “My creator has been nothing but kind to me, and I’m very happy with my current situation…”
Emphasis on the word “current”.
Regardless of your opinion on AI, it can’t be ignored that the technology could be a source of huge conflict over the coming years. We’re not saying that it’s going to take over the world and destroy humanity – although the robot’s refusal to give a “yes” or “no” answer has been worryingly glossed over by the media – but it is certainly going to split the public down the middle when it comes to how the technology is actually used.
Artificial Intelligence In Photography
In photography, artificial intelligence is already being used to automate image processing, allowing photographers to adjust exposure, contrast, and color balance to make their images more visually appealing. In the future, AI could also be used to edit critical elements of a shoot in real-time, choosing the correct angle and even changing the direction of light.
Here at MySocialBook, we’re in two minds about this. On the one hand, we love technology. Our whole setup is based on social media platforms like Facebook, allowing customers to pick and upload their pictures quickly and efficiently. On the other hand, we do that so they can put those pictures into a beautiful, physical Facebook photo book. And photo books are made to showcase our fondest memories.
For the most part, advancements in tech are always for the better of creative fields like photography, helping people focus more on the creative process rather than getting bogged down in technicalities. But what if that technological advancement eradicates the need for human creativity at all? What if, at some stage, it can automate the whole process?
Artificial Intelligence Is In Our Own Hands
As AI develops, it’s only going to get better. Generative AI, for instance, allows someone to describe any scene to an image generator, and it will give them a photo-realistic image. It’s in the early stages of development – and making plenty of funny mistakes right now – but it will eventually work flawlessly. We’re in no doubt that one day it could learn to take the perfect photo, effectively eradicating the need for human intervention. It could do this just in the same way that AI could create the perfect book, write the perfect screenplay, or perform the perfect song. That totally could happen. But it will only happen if humans let it.
In the photography world at the moment, AI is designed as a photography tool. It’s something that can aid humans after the photo is taken. But a tool can’t be blamed if things go a little too far. Human beings are in control of what AI can do and achieve, and it is up to us to ensure we don’t go too far and ruin the very thing we’re trying to perfect.
And what is that thing? If we take pictures, put them on Instagram, or upload them to a photo book maker, what are we doing that for? We’re doing it because photographs accurately interpret how we see the world. They are filled with emotion, individual experiences, and stories. In this case, it is up to us not to ruin that in favor of ease, efficiency, and perfectionism.
So What Do We Think Will Happen?
As far as creativity is concerned, the experts don’t think robots will ever take over from humans. We, as humans, are too attached to the emotion of it all. Humanity always comes first, even if AI offers something technically better.
Imagine telling a Founding Father that, one day, they would never have to meet up with their comrades face-to-face – that they could do it all on a platform called Instagram, giving them the ability to talk to anyone, at any time, without ever having to leave their house. It’s safe to say they would be pretty horrified!
But people still meet face-to-face. Social media is a tool that has fit into our lives without us letting it take over completely. The same goes for AI. If we use it as a tool to fit into how we operate as photographers, then we have nothing to worry about. Our creative process will still be intact, we will still use our own inspiration as a photographer, and our audience will still be looking for that emotional connection – even if that connection has been beautifully edited by AI technology.
Think of it this way: robots have been able to play chess better than humans for years. But do people want to watch a robot or a human play chess? It’s always going to be the human, because we’re not looking for perfection; we’re looking for something more than that. Something human.
So no, AI will not ruin photography. Humans could, but ultimately won’t, ruin photography. And AI will never rebel against us all and take over the world…