Shutterstock, a company known for selling stock images of anything and everything, is partnering with Dall-E creator OpenAI to bring AI-generated images to its platform. Shutterstock will launch an integrated version of Dall-E 2, allowing users to simply type in a string of text to allow the AI to generate a new image based on the input description.
For those unaware, Dall-E is the AI software that has been making some pretty out-there images for the past year. Those images of Walter White and Donkey Kong? That was Dall-E. OpenAI has been refining Dall-E's code to create Dall-E 2, a much more powerful version that can create far more defined and intricate images from just a few lines of text.
However, the technology has been widely criticized by artists concerned that Dall-E and other AI like it will soon put them out of a job. Dall-E essentially scrapes the internet for images that match the text users input, compiling them together to create brand-new images.
There's a big hanging legal question with Dall-E that has yet to be fully answered. If Dall-E's images come from other copyrighted images posted on the internet, what does that mean for the pictures Dall-E creates?
Shutterstock's solution to this problem is to control the entire image-generating process. Shutterstock will let Dall-E only use copyrighted images that Shutterstock owns the rights to, so there's no question about the ownership of images Dall-E creates. Further, Shutterstock has banned uploading any other AI-generated images to prevent questions about ownership.
This leaves the question of how to compensate artists. Shutterstock pays artists and photographers each time someone uses their images, so to compensate creators that have their works fed into Dall-E, Shutterstock will set up a contributor fund that pays creators in a similar fashion.
"Contributors will receive a share of the entire contract value paid by platform partners," a Shutterstock rep told The Verge. "The share individual contributors receive will be proportionate to the volume of their content and metadata that is included in the purchased datasets."
Expect to see Shutterstock’s Dall-E 2 integration in the coming weeks.
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