Photography Center Campaign Says AI Images Will Never Measure Up To The Real Thing

Innocean Berlin has launched a new campaign to promote the world’s first permanent exhibition of photography by the legendary photojournalist Robert Capa. And in doing so, the campaign makes a point about the limits of AI—at least for now--in reproducing some of the world’s most iconic images. 

The agency has produced a series of images contrasting the powerful photographs taken by Capa with versions produced by an AI image generator which is fed a description of the original photo.  



Capa’s well-known photo of a woman with a shaved head (a Nazi collaborator) being followed by a police officer and a huge crowd at the end of  WW II is placed alongside a poorly executed version generated using AI. Other famous Capa shots are also placed next to clumsy AI-generated versions. Each image ends with the line: “Machines don’t see the world as humans do.”   

The agency notes that Capa once said: “If your pictures aren't good enough, you aren't close enough.”   

And the campaign highlights the importance of the human eye and the photographer’s interaction with real-life situations, “something AI can never replicate,” the agency asserts.  

That might be a bit of wishful thinking. Never is a long time and a big concern now is that some people may indeed mistake fake AI images for the real thing. And the more AI is put to work on a project, the better the results. 

That’s my two cents, anyway. According to the agency, some may see AI as the future of image generation, while the campaign aims to demonstrate that the value of human photography outweighs the benefits offered by technology.   

The ad campaign launched on May 22nd in Europe, and the exhibition launches on June 6th at the Robert Capa Contemporary Photography Center in Budapest. June 6 will be the 79th anniversary of the D-Day invasion in World War II. Capa was the only photographer landing with the first wave of troops on Omaha Beach to document the fateful day.     

István Virágvölgyi, Artistic Director at Capa Photography Center said: “While we are always excited by the emergence of new imaging technologies, the consequences of the introduction of artificial intelligence seem unpredictable and somewhat worrying. “ 

Still, he added, “we are certain that machines will not be able to replace the kind of human vision that the great photojournalist Robert Capa embraced to passionately witness and report on important events in the world.” 


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