Will AI image generators kill off the stock image industry? It’s a question many are asking after the rise of text-to-image AI models in recent years. The answer from industry headlines, however, is “no,” not if we can start selling AI-generated content first.
Today, stock image giant Shutterstock announced an extended partnership with OpenAI, which will see AI Lab’s DALL-E 2 text-to-image model integrated directly into Shutterstock “in the coming months.” Additionally, Shutterstock is launching a “Contributors Fund” that will reimburse creators when the company sells work to train text-to-image AI models. This follows widespread criticism of artists whose output has been siphoned off the web without their consent to create these systems. Notably, Shutterstock is also banning the sale of AI generated art on its site which is No done using its DALL-E integration.
Shutterstock Bans Third-Party AI Art and Offers Its Own DALL-E Integration
In a press release, Shutterstock CEO Paul Hennessy said: “Means to express creativity are constantly evolving and expanding. We recognize that it is our great responsibility to embrace this evolution and ensure that the generative technology that drives innovation is based on ethical practices.”
Sam Altman, CEO of OpenAI, said, “We’re excited for Shutterstock to offer DALL-E images to their customers as one of the first implementations through our API, and we look forward to future collaborations as artificial intelligence becomes a reality.” integral part of artists’ creative workflows.
This is not the first time that Shutterstock and OpenAI have worked together in this domain. As of 2021, Shutterstock sold images and metadata to OpenAI to help create DALL-E (OpenAI’s Altman describes this data as “critical to DALL-E training”). Now, with the integration of OpenAI text-to-image AI, the partnership is coming full circle and the production of DALL-E will compete with the very people whose work was used to train it.
If Shutterstock images were as important to creating DALL-E as Altman claims, it’s understandable that contributors to the platform would feel aggrieved that their own content is being used to put them out of work. That’s why Shutterstock is also launching its Collaboration Fund, which will be used to pay artists, photographers and designers when the company sells the content they uploaded to Shutterstock to firms like OpenAI to develop generative AI models.
It’s a significant move, the first major initiative by a platform owner to reimburse creators in this way, but it also underscores the complicated legal and ethical issues surrounding this new technology.
Although scraping or buying data to train AI art generators appears to be legal (covered by fair use), many experts worry about future challenges and complications. Getty Images, for example, has banned the sale of AI art on its platform over fears that its inability to copyright the production of these systems will lead to licensing issues for customers.
When asked about these issues, a Shutterstock spokesperson said the edge that there were “a lot of questions and uncertainty surrounding this new technology, specifically when it comes to the concept of ownership,” but that the company’s position is that “because AI content generation models take advantage of the intellectual property of many artists and their content, AI- ownership of generated content cannot be assigned to an individual and instead must compensate the many artists who participated in the creation of each new piece of content.”
The Contributor Fund will pay Shutterstock users when their content is used to train AI models
This is why Shutterstock is banning AI art uploaded to their platform by third parties, because they can’t validate the model used to create the content, so they can’t be sure who owns the copyright. . (Of course, banning third-party AI-generated art will also help protect your own business by funneling users into your DALL-E integration.) And although the company seems to believe that it does not have legal obligation to reimburse creators whose content is used to train DALL-E, the creation of the Contributor Fund suggests that it anticipates criticism and potential damage to its reputation.
“Given the collective nature of generative content, we developed a revenue-sharing compensation model where contributors whose content was involved in training generative models will receive a portion of the profits from the datasets and downloads of all generated content. AI produced on our platform,” a Shutterstock spokesperson said. The edge. “Contributors will receive a portion of the total contract value paid by platform partners. The share that individual contributors receive will be proportional to the volume of their content and metadata that is included in the purchased datasets.”
Shutterstock says these payments will be distributed every six months and will include “both earnings from data deals and royalties from generic licenses at Shutterstock.” The company gave no indication of what a typical payment might be.