The AI situation

It’s #TravelTuesday and I, Dave Williams, am here again. Today, from back in the UK, I want to talk again about AI in creativity and what it might really mean. Let’s start right here: –

Recently, a piece of AI generated art won first place in a contest, and this bugs me. This takes the argument of purism versus Photoshop and completely changes gear on it. MidJourney is perhaps the biggest player in the game thus far and we’re seeing the art it’s producing all over social media. It’s a crazy concept when it comes to our future as photographers and creatives, and one we should be keeping a close eye on.

Part of my income stream is stock photography via Adobe Stock and Getty Images. Having clients select images from these stock libraries relies on me (and others) creating the images they want in the first place and finding the closest match to their vision. The ability to simply type in a description of what they want in a text field and have the AI generate a bunch of variations based on that description is potentially quite a threat to my income stream in stock photography. Why would a client search for and find my images if they can simply write down what they want and get an almost instant, likely cheaper match?

Getting access to MidJourney to create this AI art for ourselves is limited right now, with a wait-list and hordes of beta testers doing all the work, but we can get close with Neural Filters in Adobe Photoshop. Here’s a shot I took last week at Haífoss, Iceland: –

This is the original shot and I ran it through the Neural Filters in Adobe Photoshop to change the look. I used the Landscape Mixer option to turn last week’s summer scene into winter, and here’s what I got: –

The filter has added a hint of the presence of trees to the mix, but aside from that addition the rest of the scene is pretty accurate to what this place would look like when covered in the snow of winter. This is the result of ML, Machine Learning, and the AI, in this case driven by Adobe Sensei, is taking the input of thousands upon thousands of winter images to determine what this photo should look like in winter. Using Neural Filters to explore the AI that is currently available to us is a great way to find out the level of precision and accuracy it currently offers and I suggest you do that because, team, this is the future, and it’s not far away.

Much love

PS, here’s the scene without the snow, as generated with Neural Filters

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