Daniel Palmer


Photography after AI

A paradox: ‘the photographic’ is central to visual culture inflected by artificial intelligence (AI), and yet AI is rapidly destabilising photographic practice. A cyclical theme, the notion of what constitutes a photograph and what it means to be a photographer are fundamentally questioned once more, especially since the release last year of novel text-to-image models capable of generating so‑called photorealistic images from text prompts (DALL·E, Stable Diffusion, Midjourney, etc.). In a curious reversal of the conventional process of captioning a photograph after it has been taken or printed, professional image makers and publishers are now negotiating the ability to synthesise photographic-looking images from executable texts. In the process, the still-dominant paradigm of photography as a contingent encounter between a camera user and the world is being upended by proprietary AI algorithms trained on datasets of existing photographic images, raising vital ethical questions on authenticity, biases and authorship.

After AI
Cementa NAVA Unley Museum