Shutterstock will sell AI-generated images and compensate artists

Shutterstock will sell AI-generated images and compensate artists

Stock photos giant Shutterstock has announced a plan to make AI-generated images available on its website, while also compensating creators whose art helped train the AI.

Controversy: In April 2022, OpenAI—a research lab co-founded by Elon Musk and former Y Combinator president Sam Altman—discovered DALL-E 2an AI tool that quickly generates realistic images based on text prompts.

Like most others AI-t text-to-imageDALL-E 2 was trained in hundreds of millions of images with captions removed from the Internet. This raises ethical and legal concernsas the creators of the original images were not compensated nor was their consent sought.

Shutterstock has teamed up with OpenAI to integrate DALL-E into its website.

Not long after DALL-E 2 and Other text-to-image AI became available online, people started trying sell AI-generated images on Shutterstock, Getty Images and other stock image websites.

In September, Shutterstock appeared to launch removing some of the images from its catalog, while Getty Images responded by explicitly banning AI-generated art.

What’s new? Shutterstock is now taking a different approach, announcing on October 25 that it had teamed up with OpenAI to integrate DALL-E into its website. Once the integration begins “in the coming months,” customers will be able to submit text requests to generate new images.

The announcement also noted that Shutterstock had licensed images from its catalog to OpenAI in 2021 to help train DALL-E 2.

The creators of those images apparently weren’t made aware of the licensing or offered a cut of anything Shutterstock made from the deal at the time, but they’ll get are compensated in the future through Shutterstock’s new Contributor Fund.

How it works: The version of DALL-E incorporated into Shutterstock will only be trained on licensed images on the site, a Shutterstock spokesperson said. said New Scientist. When Shutterstock sells an image created by this AI, all the artists whose images were used to train it will get a cut.

“We want to ensure that many are protected and compensated.”

Shutterstock spokesperson

Creators whose images were licensed to OpenAI in 2021 to train DALL-E 2 will also receive a portion of that contract, and in both cases, the amount artists receive will be based on the number of images they create. included in the training data set. .

“When the work of many people contributed to the creation of a single piece of AI-generated content, we want to ensure that many of them are protected and compensated (rather than allowing one individual to generate and take full credit for that content),” the spokesperson said.

Looking ahead: Shutterstock says payments will be made every six monthsbut it’s not clear what percentage of revenue from the data contract or newly licensed AI-generated images will go to creators and how much Shutterstock will keep.

Creators probably shouldn’t expect too much of a payout, though, given that it’s not clear that Shutterstock is legally obligated to pay them anything, but the laws surrounding text-to-image AI can change. especially when it comes to human AIs. rights to use AI generated images commercially.

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