AI Used AI Images … and I’m Now AI

Luke Taylor in The Guardian reports Amnesty International used an AI-generated image in one of its pieces and I’m now all irate.

The only thing journalists have, at the end of the day, is their credibility. You can change platforms, you can use different mediums for storytelling, you can alter your style or the tools that you use, but if you play with credibility, you lose. Full stop, no further discussion.

The same is true for advocacy organizations like Amnesty International, even if they stated these images were created by an artificial intelligence algorithm. Once someone does something that you feel is deceptive, you will always be suspicious. Credibility is incredibly hard earn and almost impossible to attain after a breach.

Journalists, be they reporters or photographers, rarely return to the business after their lies are uncovered. News organizations bend over backwards to be transparent about their transgressions in an attempt to preserve their own credibility, enacting processes to prevent others from doing the same.

In a conversation about ethics a few years back, my friend Billy Weeks said that staging or altering images prevents future generations from knowing what happened during our time here. I’m now worried for us, in our own time, knowing what is happening, too.

Mark E. Johnson

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