They say robots and AI are taking over but they still can’t take a good portrait

Artificial Intelligence is good for repetitive, predictable tasks. And interpreting data. It might even create an abstract painting, or what could pass for one if the viewer didn’t know its origin.

A purely mechanical approach to portraits has been around for decades––the photo booth that gives you 5 shots on a strip for a dollar or two. It’s very limited, and for that one thing it does really well, it’s become a cultural favorite.

Even the license photos at the Dept. of Motor Vehicles require an attendant to instruct the customer, aim the camera, and press the button.

Could AI possibly grasp subtlety, nuance, and variation of human expression? It might someday come close to doing so, but it would still be a replica of what a skilled photographer can expertly do.

A human photographer can also handle myriad human nature differences we encounter, such as the difficult subject, or those who are reluctant, resistant, bashful, self-deprecating, overly rambunctious, disobedient, distracted, and much more.

For my money, I predict competent, insightful, and masterful photographers will continue to be of the human kind for a long time to come. I won’t be replaced by a robot!––oh no, not me!

Gort the robot as a photographer

Gort, from ‘The Day The Earth Stood Still‘ – 1951, imagined as if he/she was a photographer