Shutterstock Integrates DALL-E for AI-Generated Stock ‘Photos’


Shutterstock has announced a collaboration with the makers of DALL-E that will allow users to generate synthetic images on its platform.

The stock photo website will use OpenAI’s software to enable its customers to “instantly generate and download images based on the keywords they enter.” The integration is expected to launch in the coming months.

Compensating Photographers Who Fed the Machine

Artificially intelligent (AI) image generators are created by machine-learning programs that have been fed millions of real-life photos and accompanying descriptions. This process informs the AI how to generate a photo of an elephant riding a bicycle, for example.

This means that millions of photographers have had their work used in a way they did not consent to. Shutterstock has been mindful of this and has created a new fund to compensate the photo owners whose work has been used to feed the AI.

“Given the collective nature of generative content, we developed a revenue share compensation model where contributors whose content was involved in training the model will receive a share of the earnings from datasets and downloads of all AI-generated content produced on our platform,” Shutterstock writes in a press release.

Shutterstock’s slated fund is a sign that the copyright of AI-generated images is still far from certain, with no clear rules surrounding the ownership of AI-generated art.

“Shutterstock has also created the framework to provide additional compensation for artists whose works have contributed to develop the AI models. The Company also aims to compensate its contributors in the form of royalties when their intellectual property is used,” it adds.

It also says it will be focusing R&D efforts on “gathering and publishing insights related to AI-generated content” — intending to position itself “at the forefront of the emerging technology.”

“The mediums to express creativity are constantly evolving and expanding. We recognize that it is our great responsibility to embrace this evolution and to ensure that the generative technology that drives innovation is grounded in ethical practices. We have a long history of integrating AI into every part of our business. This expert-level competency makes Shutterstock the ideal partner to help our creative community navigate this new technology. And we’re committed to developing best practices and experiences to deliver on our purpose, which is to empower the world to create with confidence,” adds Shutterstock’s CEO Paul Hennessy.

Shutterstock and Getty Images have both banned AI-generated images from being uploaded to their respective stock photo websites. The uploading of synthetic images to Shutterstock is still prohibited, but users can now create their own on its platform.

After DALL-E was made available to the public, OpenAI has announced a series of collaborations as companies use the image generator’s API.

Image credits:Featured image created by DALL-E.