A Sydney-based AI studio was awarded first prize in an Australian photography competition for an image that isn’t even real. While the creator behind the photo confessed straight away, and refused the cash prize, this is proof that AI is really starting to mimic reality – and threaten “real” photography. 

The stunning aerial image above the ocean shows a surfer riding over a breaking wave, away from the serene blue sea into a bright orange sunset. At first and even second glance, it’s incredibly hard to tell that it’s AI at all. The colors and the splashback from the waves are the only slight giveaways, but only because I know it’s AI. Had I been a judge, I would’ve been just as impressed with the stunning “photo”.


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