The World Press Photo Contest’s updated AI rules help define what a modern photograph is

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“Here, The Doors Don’t Know Me” by Mohamed Mahdy, the 2023 winner of the World Press Photo Contest’s Open Format category.
“Here, The Doors Don’t Know Me” by Mohamed Mahdy (pictured) was the winning Open Format entry in 2023. | Image: Mohamed Mahdy / Magnum Foundation / World Press Photo Foundation

The World Press Photo Contest has updated its entry rules to exclude submissions for AI-generated imagery, just days after announcing that such images could be entered into its Open Format competition category. The World Press Photo Foundation initially said it would welcome AI-generated submissions — a decision met with immediate backlash from photojournalists who said allowing artificially created images into a contest for photojournalists responsible for documenting real-world events was “anathema to everything our industry does.”

The foundation has since rolled back its new AI submission guidance and updated contest rules to bar AI-generated images from its Open Format category. “Thanks to the honest and thoughtful feedback over the…

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