Viral Instagram photographer has a confession: His photos are AI-generated

 In AI, AI art, Biz & IT, Features, image synthesis, instagram, Jos Avery, machine learning, MidJourney, social media

Viral Instagram photographer has a confession: His photos are AI-generated

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Jos Avery uses Midjourney, an AI image synthesis model, to create images that he then retouches and posts on Instagram as photos.

Enlarge / Jos Avery uses Midjourney, an AI image synthesis model, to create images that he then retouches and posts on Instagram as “photos.” (credit: Avery Season Art)

With over 26,000 followers and growing, Jos Avery’s Instagram account has a trick up its sleeve. While it may appear to showcase stunning photo portraits of people, they are not actually people at all. Avery has been posting AI-generated portraits for the past few months, and as more fans praise his apparently masterful photography skills, he has grown nervous about telling the truth.

“[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.”

Avery emphasizes that while his images are not actual photographs (except two, he says), they still require a great deal of artistry and retouching on his part to pass as photorealistic. To create them, Avery initially uses Midjourney, an AI-powered image synthesis tool. He then combines and retouches the best images using Photoshop.

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Artist wants to “come clean” and highlight a new media process.

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