With over 26,000 followers, Jos Avery’s Instagram account* continues to grow. However, it has recently become known that all the models of the photographer are actually not people at all. The artist has been posting AI-generated portraits over the past few months, and as more fans praised his professional taste, he felt he had to tell the truth.
“[My account] has gained almost 12,000 followers since October, which is much more than I expected,” the photographer wrote, “…This is where I post AI-generated portraits of people. Probably, many of the subscribers do not notice the difference. I would like to confess it.”
Initially skeptical of artificial intelligence, the artist now sees image generation as a new art form. This stance is controversial, in part because of the ethical issues involved in using human-made works without their consent.
“I’m really confused,” says Josh Avery. But now [working with AI] has become my tool. My views have changed.”
Shortly after the photographer launched his feed, positive comments about his fake photos began to come in. “All I can say is that your art is somehow unique, very unique, and also very valuable; you are actually telling the viewer paramount stories using your camera,” wrote one commenter four weeks ago, “I think you are finding new facets in modern photography! Your work gives great pleasure to the soul and mind.
When asked how he created the images, the photographer would either get off with generalities or tell people that his work was real photography, even to the point of describing what kind of camera he used to take it. But over time, his conscience tormented him more and more …
He was never able to decide whether to continue posting new work: “To be honest, I’m not quite sure how to proceed. Instagram’s reaction took me by surprise. Getting 15,000 subscribers is not easy. And the final art product resonates with people…”
* activity in the Russian Federation is prohibited