Shutterstock partners with OpenAI to advance AI image generation

  • Shutterstock is expanding its partnership with OpenAI
  • The stock image service will offer “direct access” to OpenAI’s DALL-E 2 image generator
  • OpenAI’s DALL-E 2 is one of the most popular image generators.

Shutterstock is expanding its partnership with OpenAI to improve how AI image generators are trained and contributors are compensated.

Through its website, the stock image service will provide “direct access” to OpenAI’s DALL-E 2 image generator.

“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, CEO at Shutterstock.

“We have a long history of integrating AI into every part of our business. This expert-level competency makes Shutterstock the ideal partner to help our creative community navigate this new technology. And we’re committed to developing best practices and experiences to deliver on our purpose, which is to empower the world to create with confidence.”

OpenAI’s DALL-E 2 is one of the most popular image generators. To train DALL-E, OpenAI licensed data from Shutterstock.

“The data we licensed from Shutterstock was critical to the training of DALL-E,” said Sam Altman, OpenAI’s CEO.

“We’re excited for Shutterstock to offer DALL-E images to its customers as one of the first deployments through our API, and we look forward to future collaborations as artificial intelligence becomes an integral part of artists’ creative workflows.”

Shutterstock is developing frameworks to compensate artists when their intellectual property is used and their works aid in the development of AI models.

DALL-E operates on the basis of a process known as diffusion, which begins with a pattern of random dots and gradually alters that pattern to resemble an image when it recognises specific aspects of that image.

Simply put, users can enter their search criteria and DALL-E 2 will generate an often very accurate image.

Because of concerns about the societal impact, such as the generation of fake images for propaganda or hate purposes, OpenAI delayed making its tool public until it could implement “a variety of mitigations aimed at preventing and mitigating related risks.”

Other popular AI generators, most notably Midjourney and Stable Diffusion, outperformed OpenAI in terms of public availability and popularity.

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