AI Photography - Can We Trust AI-Generated Pictures?

By Sean White

Content Specialist

November 2023

With AI tools becoming more sophisticated, it’s easier now for content creators to produce photographic-quality images quickly, breaking down barriers usually presented with gear and software.

So, it’s no wonder marketers and companies are turning towards AI Photography to expedite the process of creating fantastic imagery, but can we trust AI photographs for advertising? Or will using synthetic content erode brand trust with our customers?   


What is AI photography and how does it work?


Tools like Midjourney and DALL-E create impressive imagery using AI tools similar to ChatGPT. 

Just like their text-based counterparts, AI photography generative tools scour their own database and search engines to create imagery based on users’ submitted prompts. Depending on the complexity of the submitted prose, these tools can create quality images within a couple of minutes. 

It’s easy to see why content creators will be turning towards these tools to streamline their process of creating exciting visual content. 

There are concerns AI generative tools will impact the creative industry but these systems still require human hands to direct them. 

An ever-learning process

Despite having gargantuan amounts of data at their disposal, the imagery created by AI tools will sometimes have something that doesn’t quite look right. This is usually found in the details of the images, such as hands, landscapes, background signs, text, and more. 

Here is an example where AI didn’t quite get it right. 

The prompt that was used in Adobe Stocks AI generator was “AI data analysis improving crop efficiency in futuristic eco-friendly computerised harvesting” 

At a glance, both of these images look impressive but upon further scrutiny, it becomes pretty clear that these images couldn’t be used in any form of ag marketing. 

Looking at the first image, while the front is facing the same direction as the crops, the tractor it is attached to is driving against the crop. While the tractor is driving against the crop, there are no track marks showing the direction it’s travelling. 

At least the second image has the tractor and the harvester moving in the same direction, but it doesn’t mean it gets a pass. You can see the combine header isn’t attached to the vehicle and there are crop lines in the background that look like they belong to a M. Night Shyamalan movie. 

Going down a surreal road

One of the strengths of using AI for advertising is that you can apply abstract art styles to your marketing efforts, making truly creative pieces. 

An organisation that has used AI to produce impactful art for its advertising is the World Wilderness Foundation with its Imagine A World Without Nature. 

The art piece depicts a bleak and barren landscape with the written prompt front and centre. This piece hits the audience like a sledgehammer—you don’t have to imagine a world without nature, you’re shown it.  

Can we trust AI-generated imagery for branding? 

Now I don’t believe there is anything wrong with AI photography but when using it for marketing purposes, it might not be as convenient as you believe. Sure, it’s a quicker and cheaper alternative to using stock imagery or commissioning a photographer but you might find that generated content might require more work shaping it to make it fit within your business’s branding.  

We all know consistency is key when it comes to branding and marketing. Using synthetic content for marketing endeavours would require a careful eye and can put your brand’s communication consistency at risk. 

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