We don’t fully understand the appeal of asking an AI for a picture of a gorilla eating a waffle while wearing headphones. However, [Micael Widell] shows something in a recent video that might be the best use we’ve seen yet of DALL-E 2. Instead of concocting new photos, you can apparently use the same technology for cleaning up your own rotten pictures. You can see his video, below. The part about DALL-E 2 editing is at about the 4:45 mark.
[Nicholas Sherlock] fed the AI a picture of a fuzzy ladybug and asked it to focus the subject. It did. He also fed in some other pictures and asked it to make subtle variations of them. It did a pretty good job of that, too.
As [Micael] points out, right now the results are not perfect, but they are really not bad. What do you think systems like this will be able to do in a few years?
We might not totally agree with [Micael’s] thesis, though. He thinks photography will be dead when you can just ask the AI to mangle your smartphone pictures or just ask it to create whatever picture you want out of whole cloth. Sure, it will change things. But people still ride horses. People even still take black and white photos on film even though we don’t have to anymore.
Of course, if you made your living making horseshoes or selling black and white film, you probably had to adapt to changing times. Some did and — of course — some didn’t. But this is probably no different than that. It may be that “unaugmented” photography becomes more of a niche. On the other hand, certified unaug photos (remember, you heard that phrase here first) might become more valuable as art in the same way that a handcrafted vase is worth more than one pushed off a factory line. Who knows?
What do you think? Is photography dying? Or just changing? If AI takes over photographers, what will they go after next?