After removing a lot of AI-generated images, now we know why: Shutterstock will begin selling them officially.
The biggest stock image company just entered a partnership with OpenAI to use the most famous AI-generating tool, DALL-E 2, on the platform.
More importantly, Shutterstock is officially banning any AI-generated art not made using DALL-E 2 from being sold on its website.
To address criticism from artists whose work was scraped by DALL-E 2 and other AI image-generating tools, Shutterstock will implement something called a “Contributor Fund” to reward original work.
When DALL-E 2 will take photos to create derivative work, photographers, artists and designers will be paid – though how much is unclear. It’s also unclear if the artists who sell their creations on Shutterstock will be able to opt out of the program.
“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,” said Paul Hennessy, Shutterstock’s CEO, in a press release.
Now, AI-generated images by DALL-E will compete side by side with human created work on Shutterstock that was used to make those derivative works.
“The share individual contributors receive will be proportionate to the volume of their content and metadata that is included in the purchased datasets,” a Shutterstock spokesperson told The Verge.
Asked about how the company will address these issues and possible copyright and licensing challenges, the spokesperson said that “because AI content generation models leverage the IP of many artists and their content, AI-generated content ownership cannot be assigned to an individual and must instead compensate the many artists who were involved in the creation of each new piece of content.”