A genuine photograph taken on an iPhone was disqualified from a competition after the judges suspected it was generated by artificial intelligence (AI).
Suzi Dougherty captured a captivating image of her son alongside two elegantly dressed mannequins striking an intriguing pose during a visit to a Gucci exhibition. Satisfied with her creation, she decided to submit it to a photo competition.
Little did Dougherty know that her photo would be called into question until a friend showed her an Instagram post announcing that her submission was deemed ineligible due to suspicions of it being an AI-generated image.
The photo competition in question was organised by Charing Cross Photo, a store located in the Australian city of Sydney.
In their Instagram post disqualifying Dougherty's photo, the judges expressed initial intrigue, but subsequently, doubts arose. Charing Cross Photo wrote, "We want the images to come from your real-life experience, and not sourced from cyberspace.
"There is no way we can be completely sure the image submitted was made by AI, but you really can't ignore the gut instincts of four judges."
Charing Cross Photo later posted on Instagram, stating that they had spoken with Dougherty and confirmed the authenticity of the photo. They described the image as a "great play on what is real" and what is not. Unfortunately, by that time, Dougherty had already been disqualified from the competition, forfeiting the $333 prize.
Nonetheless, Charing Cross Photo has offered to waive Dougherty's entry fee for the next photo competition.