Bob Shell: Images and Artificial Intelligence

Portrait of porn star Kimberly Kane photographed by famous photographer Tony Ward
Film Photo: Tony Ward, Copyright 2023

Text by Bob Shell, Copyright 2023


Images and Artificial Intelligence


Every year, Sony Corporation sponsors the Sony World Photography Prize. Thousands of photographers worldwide enter to win this prestigious award. 

This year’s winner was Boris Elgadsen who won with a portrait of two women. 

After winning, Elgadsen revealed that his winning image was not a photograph at all, but the creation of an artificial intelligence program. 

He said he was just testing to see if artistic competitions were prepared to detect AI creations. “They are not,” he said in an understatement itself worthy of a prize. 

Years ago when Photoshop first became available, a traditionalist photographer told me, “This is the death of real photography.” In a sense he was right. 

It used to be that photography represented reality, at least for the most part, because manipulations were difficult. Photoshop changed that. Now, we won’t even need a photograph or photographic elements as starting points to create an image. Just describe what you want to an AI program and it will create it for you. 

AI is also capable of generating sound. Using the Telegram app, users can create false voices. The hacker group known as Torswats offers services such as closing down a school with an AI generated bomb threat for $ 75. For $ 50 they will they will call in a report designed to have police raid a person’s house and haul him off in handcuffs. 

Beyond photography and malicious use of AI, using the app Replika anyone can create a virtual human. A boyfriend or girlfriend who will love you unconditionally, and look and act as you choose. Many users say they prefer these artificial people to the real thing. Using a VR headset, you can interact with them in a virtual reality superimposed on your own reality. The only downside — you can’t touch or be touched by them — yet!


About The Author: Bob Shell is a professional photographer, author, former editor in chief of Shutterbug Magazine and veteran contributor to this blog. He is currently serving a 35 year sentence for involuntary manslaughter for the death of Marion Franklin, one of his former models.  He is serving the 13th year of his sentence at Pocahontas State Correctional Facility, Virginia. To read additional articles by Bob Shell related to UFO’s, click here:

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