AI Cameras? Really?

AI Photography?

First, I’m aware that I’ll receive a lot of flak from this article. And a lot of people screaming “Luddite!”. Fine. I was asked some years ago to write a opinion piece on a Gary Fong Lightsphere. As with most ‘on camera light modifiers’ I’ve used, I panned it. Holy cow! You would think I insulted peoples mothers! I started the article off by saying this was my subjective opinion. But that didn’t seem to matter. Hey, a small light source is a small light source. And if you’re not in a room and pointing the flash at a white ceiling, it will remain a small light source. And in that case, save your money. That said, I’m pretty much against “most” on camera modifiers. They add weight, are usually unwieldy and are not very effective. But,…I also said,…”if using a $150 bracket as opposed to a simple straight $5 bracket is your preference”,…knock yourself out. And so it shall be in this AI opinion as it pertains to cameras. (digital, obviously) But one caveat; I’m also the guy who thinks using Program mode is reserved for soccer moms,…etc. But as the creator, I prefer to control everything. (which is probably why I don’t like to fly)


Evolving from simple cameras to AI? Better images? I doubt it.


From SIRI to self-driving cars, and now cameras, artificial intelligence (AI) is progressing rapidly. Actually, AI can be anything from Google’s search algorithms to weapons. (uhhh,…see “Terminator”) Well, ‘Skynet’ is probably stretching it a bit,…presently?

Facial recognition and self driving cars are AI, but limited. They do one thing. However, as we read this, a form of AI is being developed to do a lot more! It’s called AGI. So, will ‘AGI’ become the new Van Gogh? Picasso? Helmut Newton? And in the photographic sense, will every art director clamor for and demand artists incorporate AI to secure the job? Can you see where I’m going with this? Is our humanity for sale?


AI Photography
© Jeff Wall – Even Jeff Wall alters reality. (constructed image)


Can AI Really be Dangerous?

Well, not yet. (except self driving cars) While most engineers think AI is very unlikely to get real human emotions as it becomes “superintelligent”. More likely;

  1. The AI is programmed to do something devastating. (Kill, War, etc.)
  2. The AI is programmed to do something beneficial, but develops a destructive method to achieve its goal. (driving too fast, etc)

For example, you tell AI to get you to the airport “as fast as possible”. It proceeds to drive you there at 150mph, trailed by a bevy of police cars. Hey,’s doing what you told it. And when you get hit by a ‘driverless’ car, who’s to blame? Do you sue the passenger? Getting hit by a car, driver or not, causes the same damage. And what about a natural sunflare? Will the EMP fry your smart car and cause a major multi car accident? And remember, a heat seeking missile has a ‘goal’.


AI Photography
HDR. Sorry, not in my vocabulary.


But Photography (or any ‘Art’)

Will all cameras have an AI mode on the dial? I won’t be surprised to see the next Canon 5D with an expanded mode dial. 🙄 Well, I could see it adjusting for backlight, stitching, HDR, (which I hate anyway),….but removing blemishes on the fly, making people “more” attractive? (see video below) Are photographers really clamoring for this? Or is it just another curiosity? (like the software removing people from your images) Are we all going to be represented as the large busted Amazon on a video game? I know there are people out there going “Yeah!!!”. Probably the same people attending Comic Con and playing Dungeons and Dragons. Me? I’ll stick to my reality. I don’t need no stinkin’ Program mode. Or AI.





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