Portrait competition allows fully AI-generated images

Portrait competition allows fully AI-generated images

Portrait competition allows fully AI-generated images

The prestigious Brisbane Portrait Prize will be allowing wholly AI-generated images to be entered into the competition this year. The organisers defend the decision by saying that art is not stagnant and should reflect societal change.

The Brisbane Portrait Prize is open to media across the visual arts, including but not exclusive to photography. The top winner receives approximately $30,000. The last time a photograph won the top prize was in 2021.

The updated Terms and Conditions of Entry state that entries can be “completed in whole or in part by generative artificial intelligence” so long as the artwork is original and “entirely completed and owned outright” by the entrant.

Art is evolving

A spokesperson for the prize told The Guardian that the decision to include AI entries was deliberate. It was apparently a well-thought-through effort to convey that the definition of art was always evolving and growing.

“BPP prides itself on being a contemporary prize, and we are always interested in what ‘contemporary’ portraiture is while fostering both the ongoing evolution of art and engaging in the surrounding conversation,” they said.

“As technology continues to adapt and integrate into our society, it has already opened the door for artists with a disability to be included thanks to the use of assistive technology, and we see the use of AI tools and methodologies as the next stage in this,” the spokesperson added.

However, this does throw open the question of who owns the copyright to the final AI-generated art. As most countries’ laws stand, including Australia, no AI-generated work has any copyright protection. Additionally, the artist who created the prompt cannot claim ownership.

The BPP spokesperson addressed this concern by saying that if the artist had contributed “sufficient independent intellectual effort” in creating the work, it would likely be protected by copyright.

AI or no AI?

AI-generated images have thrown art and photography competitions into an existential spin in the past year or two. Just last year, Boris Eldagsen, the winner of the Sony World Photography Award, refused his prize after he revealed that his image was 100% AI-generated and not a photograph.

Since then, competitions have had to re-evaluate their rules of entry and their opinions of what constitutes art. To allow AI or not, and if so, how much AI is permitted.

One thing is for certain: we haven’t heard the end of this.

[via the guardian]