Jos Avery, a viral Instagram photographer, has recently confessed to his over 26,000 followers that the stunning portraits on his account are not actually taken by him, but are instead generated by artificial intelligence (AI). While some of his followers were shocked by the revelation, Avery hopes that his confession will serve as an opportunity to highlight a new media process that he has been experimenting with.
“[My Instagram account] has blown up to nearly 12K followers since October, more than I expected,” wrote Avery when he first reached out to Ars Technica in January. “Because it is where I post AI-generated, human-finished portraits. Probably 95%+ of the followers don’t realize. I’d like to come clean.” “I am honestly conflicted,” Avery said. “My original aim was to fool people to showcase AI and then write an article about it. But now it has become an artistic outlet. My views have changed.”
Avery’s AI-generated portraits, which are made using a combination of machine learning algorithms and image processing techniques, have attracted a great deal of attention on Instagram, with many people praising his apparent mastery of the craft. However, Avery felt increasingly nervous about perpetuating a false impression of his abilities and decided to come clean about the process behind his work.
In doing so, Avery has sparked a conversation about the role of AI in art and the boundaries between human and machine creativity. While some critics have accused Avery of misleading his followers, others have celebrated his innovative use of AI as a new media process that pushes the boundaries of traditional photography.
Avery’s confession also raises questions about the role of social media in shaping our perceptions of reality. As social media platforms increasingly become a primary source of visual content for many people, it is important to consider the ways in which our understanding of what is real and what is artificial is being shaped by these platforms.
Despite the controversy surrounding his confession, Avery remains committed to exploring the creative possibilities of AI-generated art. By pushing the boundaries of what is possible in photography, he hopes to inspire others to experiment with new media and push the limits of their own creativity.