Student Photography Competition: The Future of AI

In this article

The Futures Institute is launching the Edinburgh Futures Conversations' Student Photography Competition which is now open to all University of Edinburgh students.

The Futures Institute is launching the Edinburgh Futures Conversations’ Student Photography Competition which is now open to all University of Edinburgh students. Inspired by this year’s Edinburgh Futures Conversations series – The Future of Artificial Intelligence (AI) – we invite you to submit photographs that respond to this question: What does the relationship between humans and artificial intelligence look like?

Media is full of stereotypical images of AI featuring Matrix-like descending code, references to science fiction films or anthropomorphised robots. However, such images are not always an accurate representation of the state AI is in at the moment, which in the present and likely near future appears more nuanced and different. We encourage you to imagine beyond the stereotypical tropes and explore topics like (but not limited to):

  • Humans behind the creation of AI
  • Ways AI already mediates our everyday lives and relationships with others
  • Art, creativity and AI
  • Ways in which AI influences our relationship with nature
  • Representation of diversity in AI
  • Alternative metaphors for representing AI – other than ‘brains’ and ‘thinking machines’, which are often misleading
  • You can also produce works that reflect on the medium of photography today: many photography devices have AI within them.

Entries will be judged according to how well they reflect the prompt, on creativity and photographic quality.

The First Prize winner will receive £100. The winning photographs will be featured on EFI’s student exhibition website throughout the year, and are likely to be included in a physical exhibition in the new Edinburgh Futures Institute as part of the opening programme of events in Academic Year 2023/24.

Guidelines for the submissions:

  • Edited photographs will be accepted.
  • AI – generated images are accepted, too, but you MUST indicate if your photograph or part of it is generated by AI
  • Each participant can upload up to 3 photographs (which can be a photo series – please indicate if this is the case on the form)
  • Quality requirement: minimum 300 dpi. This is to make sure photographs can be printed for physical exhibition
  • Submissions are welcome from 24 February, but we recommend that you attend some or all of the Edinburgh Futures Conversations hybrid events on 6 and 8 March 2023 in order that your entry can reflect responses to the challenges raised in these conversations. Booking available here.

The competition is open for entries now, and closes at 5pm on 17 March 2023. 

To enter the competition and for more details, please use this form:

If you have any questions, please email Jennifer Williams.

Further information

See the winning photographs from last season’s Student Photography Competition on The Future of Climate Justice

For more guidance you can visit Better Images of AI

Join us to challenge, create, and make change happen.