At drupa in Düsseldorf in May and June, experts will present the drupa Imaging Summit for the first time as part of the "drupa next age" event series. Speakers from qualified companies will give 20-minute keynote speeches and panels on the most important topics at the interface between imaging technologies and printing, including the potential offered by the use of AI.

Kangaroo PM AIFor a bit of fun, we asked Night Cafe AI Studio to create an image of 'A Kangaroo as Prime Minister of Australia'. Impressive but why the 4 arms and 4 legs??

The imaging industry has come a long way in the last few decades. The shift to digital photography and workflows, and now the new big challenge of AI, are transforming the value creation of creators, companies and the industry. Along with many challenges, the new tools also create opportunities and business areas.

At the drupa Imaging Summit, one of the main themes will be the on-trend topic of Imaging Artificial Intelligence, to learn about the current status and tools, discuss new product ideas and ways to enhance images for better prints.

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'Picture This: How Artificial Intelligence (AI) is Revolutionizing Image Creation' will be presented by Dennis Oberfeld, a Google Cloud/Customer Engineer and will show how AI is supercharging the image creation process. The participants delve into Google's powerful AI solutions, demonstrating how they streamline workflows and produce what is claimed to be  'stunning results.' Learn about upscaling, watermarking, and more – practical tools for print businesses and creatives alike. Oberfeld is passionate about enabling digital transformation, he works closely with clients to understand their unique needs and implement tailored cloud strategies for optimal business outcomes. Prior to Google Cloud, he spent nearly a decade at SAP driving cloud adoption for enterprise customers.

'Image generation via Artificial Intelligence: Tools & Workflows' will be presented by Andreas Jürgensen, Founder of AI Imagelab  and will give an overview of the current status of AI-generated images. Jürgensen will give a brief insight on which programs are currently relevant - and which ones you should keep an eye on, in which processes AI-generated images are currently being used and in which fields of application they are becoming relevant. The presentation will be illustrated with application and image examples. Jürgensen is a photo engineer and has been working in the photo industry since 1993. His company operates Germany's largest network of photo communities. At the end of 2022 he started to work with artificial intelligence and its use for image generation. Together with Adrian Rohnfelder he started the AI Imagelab, a news blog about everything related to AI generated images and videos.

'AI Unveiled: Navigating Past, Present, and Future in Photo Print Innovation' will be presented by Sarah, Lefebvre, Director of Marketing at EyeQ Imaging Inc. The Creators of a leading Imaging Software, Perfectly Clear, and will show the advances AI has made in recent years as Sarah connects today's applications of AI to real-world cases and their impact on the printing industry. Be prepared to delve into the exciting possibilities of the future as she unravels the transformative impact of AI on photo printing.  Lefebvre is on a mission to help businesses achieve optimal photo quality. As Director of Marketing at EyeQ, she focuses the company's core message on the ROI businesses can achieve with Perfectly Clear, its automated photo and video editing technology.

'The influence of Artificial Intelligence on future print products' will be presented by Adrian Rohnfelder, Founder AI Imagelab. In this highly illustrated and entertaining short presentation, Adrian Rohnfelder outlines possible print products of the future as a result of the new generative AI capabilities, including: Changes through AI support of existing products; Key social media drivers such as pets and selfies for a flood of AI-generated images; Possible consumer desires for 2D, 3D and 4D printing.

Rohnfelder studied business administration, worked for a long time as a freelance management consultant and made photography his profession in 2017. He has already won several awards, published in renowned publishing houses and appeared as a guest speaker.  At the end of 2022, he discovered AI as a creative tool and has published articles on the subject. Together with Andreas Jürgensen, he founded the AI Imagelab in mid-2023 as a platform for AI-generated images and videos.

'Prints enhanced in the blink of an AI' will be presented by Servi Pieters, CEO of Viesus. Dealing with thousands or even millions of images daily for printing? Do you often find these images lacking in quality or pixels? Are you facing lost time, complaints, and missed opportunities? Discover the behind-the-scenes algorithms used by leading names in the photo printing industry to deal with suboptimal prints. This talk reveals how AI algorithms improve image print production, delivering quality without the need for manual intervention. Pieters leads Viesus in further developing AI and making it available on various platforms. In October 2022, he founded AG, driven by innovation with the application of generative AI technology in a webapp to print personalized and unique AI generated artworks.

All these presentations and many others will take place on the drupa dna stage in Hall 7 on Thursday, May 30th and Friday, May 31st  The programme is an included part of the drupa ticket.

Publisher's footnote: As Dr. Leonard 'Bones' McCoy might have said to Cpt. Kirk in Star Trek: "It's artificial, Jim, but is it intelligent?"

AI image creation and manipulation is certainly a hot topic and congratulations to drupa and these experts for bringing if to the drupa audience - it will be fascinating. However, like many new technologies, critical thinking needs to be applied to the proper uses for AI imaging. Already, the internet is awash with deepfaked AI images and videos. In one case, The Washington Post reported on "a finance manager at a Hong Kong bank wired about $25.6 million to fraudsters who used AI to pose as the worker’s bosses on a video call. And the tools to make these fakes are free and widely available."

Read The Washington Posts article on "The AI deepfake Apocalpse" on this link.

We need to see beyond the 'Wow!' factor and consider the 'Whoa!' factor too.

(With full ackowledgement and thanks to The Washington Post and journalist )

Andy McCourt

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