A photo taken on an iPhone was disqualified from a photography competition after judges, though they initially loved the photo, suspected that it was generated by artificial intelligence (AI). 

The photography competition was held by Charing Cross Photo, a store in Sydney, Australia. Store owner Iain Anderson told The Guardian that the judges looked at the metadata on the image but weren’t able to tell if the image was AI-generated or not. Charing Cross Photo’s Instagram post disqualifying Dougherty’s photo said that though this was the case, ‘you really can’t ignore the gut instincts of four judges.’

Anderson also said that while the competition may eventually accept AI images, it is something they are still working on. He said, ‘I think we need to have a section for AI at some point… but because we don’t know enough about it, because we’re still purists in a way, that will be difficult to judge.’

Suzi Dougherty, who took the photo, showing her son posing with two mannequins was taken while visiting a Gucci exhibition, told the Guardian that she wouldn’t know how to take an AI photo, adding that ‘I’m just getting my head around ChatGPT.’

Yesterday, Charing Cross Photo wrote in an Instagram post that they spoke to Dougherty and confirmed the photo is real. Charing Cross Photo has offered to waive Dougherty’s entry fee for the next photo competition.

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