Photographer Boris Eldaksen refuses Best Photo prize after revealing winning image produced by AI

A German photographer has turned down a prestigious prize claiming his winning photo was created using artificial intelligence.

Boris Eldaksen was announced as the winner in the Creative Open category at the Sony World Photography Awards for his black and white photograph Pseudomnesia / The Electrician. The image shows a young woman standing in front of the camera, with an older woman standing behind her.

However, a week after he won the prize, Eldaksen shared: A statement on his website “I will not accept awards,” he announced.

I applied as a cheeky monkey to find out if contests were ready for AI images to enter. They don’t,” he wrote.

“For us, the photography world needs an open discussion. A discussion of what we like to consider photography and what we don’t. Is the photo umbrella big enough to invite AI images to step in – or is this a mistake?”

Eldaksen, who specializes in photography and visual art, said he “hopes to accelerate this debate” by declining the award.

“If you don’t know what to gift, donate to the Photofestival in Odessa, Ukraine,” she suggested.

A spokesperson for the World Photo Organization told them that Eldoxen had “collaboratively” created the image using AI before being announced as the winner.

“According to the rules of the contest, photographers provide guarantees for their entry,” they said Guardian.

“The creative category of the open competition welcomes various experimental approaches to image creation, from cyanotypes and radiographs to sophisticated digital procedures. Therefore, following our correspondence with Boris and the assurances he provided, we felt that his entry met the criteria for this category and we supported his participation.

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The WPO added that they additionally “welcomed Boris’s willingness to dialogue” but stopped working with him after he rejected the award.

“Noting his actions and his deliberate attempts to mislead us, we feel that we cannot engage in a meaningful and constructive dialogue with him by invalidating the assurances he has given,” they said.

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