Is This a Small Win for Photographers? Apple to Label AI-Generated Images


Over the last few months, photographers have had to take their small wins where they can get them. With the huge rise in the onslaught of AI images and other types of AI creatives, it’s understandable that they may feel frustrated.

However, a recent move by Apple might offer a small glimmer of optimism.

According to news from Apple Insider, it has been revealed that Apple plans on embedding EXIF data in images generated by its AI software known as “Generative Playground.”

apple logo on blue surface
Apple logo on blue surface. Photo by Sumudu Mohottige.

Generative Playground enables users to create AI-generated images across different Apple products using Apple Intelligence, their in-house AI software.

What’s interesting about Generative Playground is that it was already restricted from creating photorealistic images. The news of Apple also labeling such images in the metadata may be a good sign for photographers.


Well, it means that the wider concerns the community holds about AI, and especially AI image generation, are being taken seriously by the engineers at Apple – at least to some degree.

Any small act that limits the seemingly incredible power of AI imaging should at least be considered.

We’re certainly not saying that photographers should be celebrating the onset of AI imaging, especially since so much of it is trained on our work. However, these small steps against the onslaught of AI might provide a sliver of hope.

AI images continue to have a massive effect on the commercial value of photography and are already infringing on the artistic direction of the craft too.

And while the news from Apple about the EXIF data is welcome, it should be noted that it is also very easy to strip EXIF data from images. It would be nice if Apple or other companies started to consider AI solutions such as steganography for image identification, as it is only a matter of time until the power of AI imaging is indecipherable from genuinely captured photographs.

What do you think?

About Author

Rob is the founder of Light Stalking. His love for photography started as a child with a Kodak Instamatic and pushed him into building this fantastic place all these years later, and you can get to know him better here.
Rob's Gear
Camera: Nikon D810
Lenses: Nikkor 14-24 f/2.8, Nikkor 50mm f/1.8

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