By Jess Weatherbed , a news writer focused on creative industries, computing, and internet culture. Jess started her career at TechRadar, covering news and hardware reviews.
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 past days, we have decided to change the rules for the Open Format category in our contest to exclude AI generated images,” said the World Press Photo Foundation in a statement published on its website on Monday. “Both generative fill and fully generated images will be prohibited in the Open Format category (as was already the case in the other categories: Singles, Stories and Long-Term Projects).”
The rules for image manipulation of photos “made by a lens-based camera” have also been updated to provide greater clarity on what constitutes an AI-generated image. Light changes like denoising, automatic adjustments (for example, on levels, colors, contrast), and object selection are listed as acceptable examples of AI editing tools, the extent of which will be decided by the contest organization and a global jury. Tools based on generative AI models that introduce new information to enlarge and sharpen images, such as Adobe Super Resolution and Topaz Photo AI, are not permitted.