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Shutterstock embraces AI image creation

Image created by Shutterstock's AI image generator using the prompt
1 minute read
Image created by Shutterstock's AI image generator using the prompt "photo portrait of a native American Indian, high detail, studio lighting."

Shutterstock has launched a new AI image generation tool as part of its stock image library.

The new AI generation system is powered by OpenAI's DALL-E system, and is available to anyone who currently subscribes to the site.

Anyone who uses a stock image site will know that it isn't always possible to get precisely what you want, and AI image generation is yet another tool to satisfy imagery demands that might not otherwise be met.

Of course, AI image generation isn't perfect, but it is getting better, and there have been some stunningly realistic examples that have been produced when combined with the right prompt. The new service is fully integrated into Shutterstock's Creative Flow series of tools, so generated images can be combined, for example, with the Create tool, to be made part of a larger design.

Currently, the resolution is limited to 1024x1024, but hopefully as DALL-E is improved, so will Shutterstock's system, eventually allowing any number of high resolutions and aspect ratios to be used.

An image of a wasp, generated with Shutterstock's new AI image generator, powered by DALL-E.

AI and the law

AI image generators have come under fire recently with two prominent lawsuits being aimed at Stable Diffusion after it came to light that the system was trained on images without the owner's permissions. Shutterstock claims its AI images are generated ethically, stating that the system is “powered by a combination of OpenAI’s DALL-E and LG’s EXAONE technology, which were both trained using datasets licensed from Shutterstock.” Furthermore, Shutterstock is offering a revenue sharing scheme that compensates artists whose images were involved in the training of the AI.

For some, the current onslaught of AI is a concerning development, but already enterprising companies and individuals are taking advantage of the new tools to make money, although there is still the sticky question of ethics. This has prompted the EU to introduce rules to force AI developers to be open about how their systems are being trained. Never-the-less, the cat is out of the bag, and using AI to help speed up workflows is going to become an inevitable part of our day to day routines.

Let us know what you think of AI, and whether you have managed to integrate such systems into your day-to-day working life in the comments below.

Tags: Technology AI Apps & Software