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

“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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