création images intelligence artificielle Shutterstock

Image bank Shutterstock to sell AI-generated works

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While it had begun to remove AI-generated images from its database, the Shutterstock platform finally announced that it would now collaborate with the company OpenAI to offer its clients artificially-created images, in parallel with images provided by real photographers or graphic designers. If Shutterstock has provided some form of compensation for artists, the news has raised some skepticism among industry professionals.

Shutterstock is one of the world’s leading image platforms: thanks to a community of more than two million contributors, hundreds of thousands of images are added to the database every week; It currently has more than 425 million images and more than 27 million video clips. The company has just entered into an agreement with OpenAI to offer its customers the ability to instantly generate images based on criteria they enter. How ? Thanks to DALL-E, the text-to-image program developed by OpenAI, and whose second version was recently released.

But like any artificial intelligence, DALL-E must be trained to perform at its best. Shutterstock has planned to compensate the authors of the images that will be used for this tutorial. ” The means to express creativity are constantly evolving and developing. 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. Paul Hennessy, chief executive of Shutterstock, said in a statement.

Compensation terms that remain unclear

Note that this announcement comes just a few days after Microsoft’s annual conference dedicated to innovation (Ignite 2022), during which the Redmond firm presented various solutions and tools dedicated to graphic design. It turns out that DALL-E 2 will be integrated into generally available Microsoft applications like Microsoft Designer (available on Microsoft 365) or Image Creator (on Microsoft Bing).

The second version of DALL-E, introduced in April, produces amazingly realistic images. In addition to an even more precise resolution, the program is now capable of making modifications to an existing image based on indications in natural language, respecting the play of shadows and lights. It relies on a process called “diffusion,” which starts with a pattern of random dots and gradually changes that pattern in an image as it recognizes specific aspects of that image.

In the coming months, Shutterstock customers will receive direct access to these image-generating capabilities, while contributors to the platform will be compensated every six months through a compensation fund “for the role their content has played. “: ” Shutterstock also created the framework to provide additional compensation to artists whose works helped develop the AI ​​models. The company also claims to compensate its contributors in the form of royalties when its intellectual property is used. “, we can read in the press release.

However, the company did not specify what percentage of revenue would go to contributors or how the contributions would be distributed. So some remain skeptical. In practice, it will be difficult to determine which input data was referenced to create a given output element…

Getty Images advocates editing instead of creating

Faced with this legal vagueness about the copyright of an artificially created image, companies have so far been reluctant to use them, and this is also the reason why Shutterstock had tried to remove them from its database. The situation may become clearer in the coming months.

A Shutterstock spokesperson said the company would continue to ban the upload of AI-generated work and that its collaboration with OpenAI was an attempt to adopt new technologies in an ethical manner. The images used to train the AI ​​were found to come exclusively from Shutterstock files and the company said it wanted to make sure all contributors are protected and compensated.

Note that one of Shutterstock’s competitors, Getty Images, has taken exactly the same turn: while it banned the sale of images created by an AI last month, the company has just announced its collaboration with Israeli start-up BRIA. Once again, this association was motivated by the prospect of being able to offer users the possibility of creating customized images, satisfying specific needs, using intuitive tools. But according to company CEO Craig Peters, Getty Images’ approach is different: It doesn’t offer to create an image from scratch, but to transform an existing image, which the CEO says is a more “ethical” use. of AI.

Shutterstock and Getty are no longer just hosting providers, where creators can sell the rights to their digital artwork made with third-party text-to-image tools. They can now participate in content creation and marketing themselves by providing the software », summarizes an article by Record.

Today, photographers and artists fear that their income, already depleted by content platforms, will dwindle even further: customers will probably prefer to create the image that exactly corresponds to their needs on the fly instead of searching the catalog . Adrian Alexander Medina, website editor and literary magazine aphotic kingdomevokes a risk of ostracism from professional photographers and illustrators.

In addition, these artistic creation technologies feed on such an amount of data that they often end up imitating the style of certain artists. The nuance that distinguishes them from outright plagiarism is still unclear… Future legal challenges are sure to be faced as these technologies are implemented.

Source: Shutterstock

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