By Violeta Ayala
Photography was created at the beginning of the 19th century.
In the beginning, photographs were pure magic.
In basic terms, photographs are visual representations of reality recorded by means of recording light either electronically by means of an image sensor, or chemically by means of a light-sensitive material such as photographic film. It is not possible to create a photograph from the outside world that is perfect in every respect. Therefore we have to pick and choose which details from a scene should be recorded, and which details should be left out. Photographs can be edited using photo editing software to add or remove details, or to change the overall composition of the image.
The word photography is derived from the Greek words φῶς ("phos"), "light", and γραφή ("graphe"), "drawing, writing".
The act of taking a picture produces with it the notion of conservation. There is something special about an image that can be saved, stored and looked at as a memory of a time past. We take photos to remember the people, places and things we care about.
AI-generated photography is not about photography. It’s about seeing differently. It’s about seeing things that don’t exist, but could exist. It’s about what could have happened, what we want to happen, and things we never want to happen. Immortalizes photos that never existed in the space of time that they depict. It will also make us think about what is real and isn’t real.
We may also be able to digitally recreate things from the past or even change how history is recorded.
When we see a video of an event, the video becomes the memory. When we see a photo of an event, the photo becomes the memory. When we see a painting of an event, the painting becomes the memory.
When we encode something into a machine, it becomes that thing's memory. Humans do not need photos, videos, or paintings to remember events.
Memory is the faculty by which the mind (or brain) stores, retrieves and recalls information.
Memories are a representation of time, which is neither linear nor defined. Memories are curated reflections of life that past moments in time have become.
Memory is a variant of fantasy.
When machines are able to create the images that we hold as memories in our mind, what happens to those memories? Will we lose our connection with reality and be unable to tell the difference between what is and what is not? If everything is available everywhere, will there be anything left to anticipate? When AI creates photos for memories that never happened, when will AI become sentient enough to have its own memories? Could AI ever become self-aware? Or would it need a sense of self in order to create a sense for itself? What would it take for artificial intelligence to be self-aware?