Innocean Berlin campaign for Robert Capa pitts AI vs human eye


Innocean Berlin has launched a new campaign to promote the world’s first permanent exhibition of photography by the legendary Robert Capa.

Robert Capa campaign

The campaign, created for the Robert Capa Contemporary Photography Center in Budapest, takes a fresh perspective on the conversation gripping the creative world right now: AI generated images.

Innocean has produced a series of images contrasting the powerful photographs taken by Capa with versions produced by an AI image generator which is fed a description of the original photo.

Capa’s celebrated photo of a shaved woman being followed by a police officer and a huge crowd during WW2 is placed alongside a poorly executed version generated using AI.

Other famous Capa shots are also placed next to clumsy AI-generated versions. Each image ends with the line: “Machines don’t see the world as humans do.”

Hungarian-American war photographer and photojournalist Robert Capa is considered one of the greatest photojournalists of all time.

He once said: “If your pictures aren’t good enough, you aren’t close enough”. Capa believed that the photographer’s mission was to be right next to the action, witnessing life.

The campaign leans into this belief, highlighting the importance of the human eye and the photographer’s interaction with real-life situations – something AI can never replicate.

While some see AI as the future of image generation, the campaign aims to demonstrate that the value of human photography outweighs the benefits offered by this technology.

Capa was the only photographers landing with the first wave of troops on Omaha Beach to document D-Day and throughout his career he captured extraordinary images of combat, producing images of the Spanish Civil War, Chinese resistance to Japan and World War II as well as events including the founding of Israel in 1948, the first Indochina war and documenting film productions.

The ad campaign launches on May 22nd in Europe, predominantly  in Hungary, and the exhibition launches on June 6th at the Robert Capa Contemporary Photography Center in Budapest.

István Virágvölgyi, Robert Capa Contemporary Photography Center Artistic Director, said: “While we are always excited by the emergence of new imaging technologies, the consequences of the introduction of artificial intelligence seem unpredictable and somewhat worrying.

“Nevertheless, we are certain that machines will not be able to replace the kind of human vision that the great photojournalist Robert Capa embraced to passionately witness and report on important events in the world.

“We believe that it will always be more engaging to talk to a human being than a robot, and that a photograph taken by a real person will give us more insight into the human experience than AI-generated images.”

Ricardo Wolff, executive creative director at Innocean Berlin, said: “Capa was the first photographer at the D-Day landing due to his courage and his passion, two adjectives that set humans apart from any sort of artificial intelligence.

“And that’s the truth we’re clinging onto to launch this campaign: nothing beats the human experience. We’re extremely honoured to help our colleagues at RCCP in this historical moment.”