What Photographers are Thinking About Ai Images: RPS Survey Report

The Royal Photographic Society (RPS) recently conducted a survey among its members to gauge their perspectives on generative artificial intelligence (AI) and its impact on photography. Over 400 RPS members participated in the survey, providing valuable insights into the intersection of AI and photography.

Survey ResponsesPercentage
Traditional photography is needed95% voted in favour
AI-generated images as “real photography”81% voted against
Unfairness of using unauthorized images to train AI85% think so
Belief that AI could lead to a rise in fake news95% agree
View of AI for photography:
– Cautious40%
– An opportunity24%
– Dangerous19%
– Fearful12%
– Excited5%
statistics of survey responses

One of the central questions posed in the survey was whether traditional photography remains relevant in light of AI-generated images. An overwhelming 95% of respondents affirmed the continued importance of traditional photography. Only 2% disagreed, and 3% expressed uncertainty.

Another critical inquiry focused on whether AI-generated images should be considered “real photography.” The majority (81%) of respondents rejected this notion, while 16% remained open to the possibility, and just 3% categorized AI-generated images as genuine photography.

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A prominent concern within the photography community is the use of stolen images to train AI models. An overwhelming 85% of survey participants found it unfair for AI algorithms to be trained with unauthorized images, highlighting the ethical and copyright implications. Meanwhile, 10% remained uncertain about this issue, and approximately 5% considered such practices acceptable.

The legal aspects of copyright in AI-generated content remain complex, particularly due to the involvement of stolen artwork. Additionally, identifying the actual creators of AI-generated content can be challenging.

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Furthermore, there are growing apprehensions that AI-generated imagery could contribute to the proliferation of “fake news” and misleading visuals. An overwhelming 95% of respondents believed that AI could contribute to an increase in fake news, which has real-world consequences on public perception and even financial markets. The remaining 5% expressed uncertainty about this potential impact.

The survey concluded with an open-ended question about respondents’ overall views on AI in photography. The most prevalent response (40%) was “cautious,” reflecting a careful approach to the integration of AI in the field. Around 24% of RPS members viewed AI as an “opportunity” in photography. Additionally, 19% expressed concerns, characterizing AI as “dangerous,” while 12% felt “fearful” of its implications. A smaller percentage (5%) expressed excitement about AI’s potential in photography.

What Photographers are Thinking About Ai Images

The survey results underscore the evolving role of AI in the photography industry and the need to strike a balance between technological progress, protecting creators’ rights, and preserving the integrity of visual storytelling. The RPS is actively addressing these concerns through initiatives like the upcoming AI and Photography Conference, demonstrating its commitment to navigating these complex issues in the digital era.

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