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One month later, and the Boris-Bomb exploded!

Some reflections on “the guy” and the “story”

I cannot help smiling. About a month ago, Boris won the Sony World Photography Award in the “Creative” category with an image generated by artificial intelligence. Some days later, we talked on Zoom, and we converted our chat into a nice conversation piece that was published on March 31 in the online magazine ReVue.

But it was only when he officially rejected the prize that the media started an avalanche that grew bigger and bigger by the minute, via articles feeding back on each other, copy-pasted information, endless repetition and loops. Yesterday, The Guardian, BBC, CNN and everybody else have featured the “news”, and the Boris Bomb has finally exploded. As he told me this morning, he has hardly slept because of the amounts of interviews that he has had to give within the last 48 hours, “but it is getting more quiet now”.

After reading a few of the articles, i thought it is now high time to give out another Prize! The one for the most absurd article header on the subject. And with unanimous votes by the only juror (same system as the Sony Award), my International Boris Bomb Prize (IBBP) goes to for

Guy Admits That His Prize-Winning “Photo” Was Actually Generated Using AI.

Why should you call Boris a photographer, an artist, or even an activist in the field of AI generated images, when you effectively call him a “guy”. The article itself, written by Victor Tangermann, is actually quite balanced, yet the headline and the illustration of the article truly make it a worthy winner of the IBBP 2023.

According to the Futurism website, Victor is a Toronto-based staff writer and photo editor who “enjoys watching rockets explode and reading about SETI”. Was he responsible for the headline? And who on earth chose to pixel out Boris’ image and put it in a golden frame (“provided by Futurism”)?

A Google quick image search did not solve the question but did bring some other interesting associations into play:

Nevertheless, none of these machine-learned insights are directly applicable to our problem. It was only when I broadened my horizon that I saw pattern evolve: after all, the current headline of the Futurism website reads,

MOM SAYS CREEPS USED AI TO FAKE DAUGHTER’S KIDNAPPING“… woooow. But if you think this is going too far, don’t worry, the story has a happy ending. Anyways, at the glimpse of an A-eye, it all started to make sense: Moms, daughters, guys, fakers, kidnappers … let’s keep it all simple and creepy. And, another good idea, let’s not show the artwork or the artist himself, but a “visual interpretation” of the story.

Which leads to my last observation: Maybe a quick AI prompt would have done a better job illustrating the issue at stake than the cheesy image “provided” by Victor and his team? If you think it’s worth a try, send the image to me and I will post it hereafter.

Thanks for reading, mates! Now… Hold fast to the Crosstrees, Shrouds and the Topgallant mast, as the storms are just beginning to rise.

Your Captain

P.S.: In the end, I decided to ask ChatGDT to tell me why Victor Tangermann enjoys watching rockets explode and reading about SETI. Here is the answer: