None of the fish you see in the images above actually exist. No one ever caught them and carefully posed them for the camera. They’re all the product of AI (artificial intelligence) image generation algorithms, platforms like DALL-E 2, Midjourney, Stable Diffusion, and others. AI image generation platforms like these have made striking advances over the last few years and, in many cases, it’s becoming difficult to tell the difference between photographs, pencil drawings, paintings, 3D renderings, and so on created by AI and those created by actual artists.
That’s when the flood gates may open. Want to receive a rush of laudatory comments on your Facebook page after you post a photo of the 16 pound brown trout you convinced to eat the size 28 Adams that’s still stuck in its jaw? Just ask. Or how about boosting your Instagram following with an image of you cradling the monster tarpon you didn’t catch on the trip to the Florida Keys you didn’t take? Simply enter the prompt. Or how about one of that musky — the fish of 10,000 casts — that you “finally” landed on the preposterously gaudy, foot-long streamer that’s hanging out of its gaping maw? The AI will oblige.
I reported on the AI thing a while back. I didn’t consider if would be used to fake fish photos but I am not surprised.
I see a disturbing number of fish abuse photos online. It seems every fish has to be plastered on a screen for bragging rights even if it is a 6 inch trout. The narcissism is gag worthy but that is the new world we are in. I just have to ignore most photos because I get upset.
At the other end of things, here is a picture of the real deal. This sea run brook trout, aka charr, was caught within 100 miles and I about flipped out that such a gorgeous sea run was near here. I wish I knew of this fishery back in the day. The angler didn’t mention size so I asked if it was 24 inches. He said more like 25 inches or likely 6-8 lbs. The photo captures the colors beautifully. A spectacular speckle* for sure.
More thoughts on sea runs.
*A Cdn name.
As usual, open pictures in new tabs to embiggen.