Shutterstock Teams Up with DALLE-2 to Sell AI-Generated Images

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The Shutterstock and OpenAI logos.

Instead of fighting AI-generated art, Shutterstock will embrace it. The company is expanding its Shutterstock.AI platform with DALLE-2 integration, and it will compensate artists when their work is utilized by image-generating AI.

This business model should make AI-generated images more accessible. Instead of creating an account on the OpenAI website or using an AI through some Discord channel, businesses and creatives can use their Shutterstock subscription to create images through DALLE-2.

Licensing through Shutterstock also gives you a legal buffer if someone makes a copyright claim against an AI-generated image. While there’s no precedent for such lawsuits, they’re practically inevitable because AI models like DALLE-2 are trained on real images, photos, and artworks. (That’s why Getty Images won’t touch AI art.)

“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.”

-Paul Hennessy, Chief Executive Officer at Shutterstock.

To further avoid legal trouble, Shutterstock will use images and photos that are already on its platform to train DALLE-2. It will also use a “Contributor Fund” to pay people for these photos and images. (So, if you upload a photo of an apple to Shutterstock, you may be compensated if it ends up in an AI’s training dataset.)

According to Paul Hennessy, CEO of Shutterstock, this is the “ethical” approach to AI-generated art. It’s certainly the most ethical approach we’ve encountered, though we’ll have to see how things play out. If real-world Shutterstock contributors start losing money to AI, they probably won’t be very happy.

It seems that AI-generated images will become fairly common over the next few years. Microsoft recently announced that DALLE-2 is coming to the Office suite, a move that will provide DALLE-2 access to millions of families, businesses, and individuals. It’s a strange (and rushed) turn of events.

Shutterstock will debut DALLE-2 integration in the coming months. The company says that its Contributor Fund will distribute payouts to artists twice a year—still, it hasn’t clarified exactly how this system works.

Source: Shutterstock, OpenAI


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