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Author Topic: Stock Photographers Being Replaced by AI?  (Read 1189 times)

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PaulieWalnuts

  • On the Wrong Side of the Business
« on: September 21, 2019, 09:42 »
+2
This Company is Giving Away 100,000 AI-Generated Portraits for Free.

https://petapixel.com/2019/09/20/this-company-is-giving-away-100000-ai-generated-headshots-for-free/

As it's improved it will probably expand into landscapes, wildlife and quite a few other subjects in stock photography. Or even art, paintings and prints.

What's this mean for the future of stock photographers? Or even traditional camera sales which are already nose-diving as a whole.


« Reply #1 on: September 21, 2019, 09:53 »
0
Curious if actually original people with a similar face exist somewhere in the world.
I would love AI to make an artificial exact free "copy" of my face and some brand to use it,
especially on a race against Aids or Racism or Fascism or a election campaign.

Guess I would never had to work for money for the rest of my life! :P

« Reply #2 on: September 21, 2019, 09:56 »
+1
I think there will still be a demand for stock photography, just the 'way' it is done will evolve/change.

I think stock photographers will start to become more like 'artists' - so, whether they use an AI generated image, or actual models - the scenery, backlighting, composition/etc will attract 'followers' that like the 'artwork'.

You'll probably start to get more 'on-demand' service, so while computer algorithms can't 'yet' say make a family picnic pose in 10 different shots, the photographers will do custom work for clients.

When the market gets 100,000 images like that in 2 seconds, it will become 'too much' for the regular/average person to sort through. So they'll probably start hiring curators - or graphic designers to 'pick' the right images for the composition.

So it's a shift, yes.

PaulieWalnuts

  • On the Wrong Side of the Business
« Reply #3 on: September 21, 2019, 10:05 »
+2
Also wonder what this means for agencies. This Icons8 company is giving images away for now. Once it's improved they will start monetizing it. So these AI companies could replace agencies. Or agencies will adopt AI and make their own images so there could be a mix of images created by AI where the agency keeps 100% and types of photos that only a person could create.

Interesting times.

« Reply #4 on: September 21, 2019, 10:06 »
+2
Also - one thing that is funny - is:

a) this is not true AI. It's an algorithm yes - but people should stop calling anything/everything "ai". True AI is when the machine can take the initiative to learn itself and create something new. This is a programming algorithm created by programmers.
b) This is also not true 'random' generation/creation. It is essentially morphing two images (the software existed in the 1990's to morph images, look at michael jackson's "black or white" video in the 1990's (published 1991, about 30 years ago) at the end of the video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F2AitTPI5U0
c) While it's cool to have an image pack of 100,000 "unique" images - it's not (yet) true AI, it's more gimmicky than anything. (I.e., they can't make the model's head sideways, or make it look down, or look up - unless they took two images of two actors both looking up then 'blended' them together).

I believe of course that is coming (to the masses) in the near future (people have already done that with 3D modelling, photo realism) - but it's not 'yet' readily available.


« Reply #5 on: September 21, 2019, 10:15 »
+1
Also wonder what this means for agencies. This Icons8 company is giving images away for now. Once it's improved they will start monetizing it. So these AI companies could replace agencies. Or agencies will adopt AI and make their own images so there could be a mix of images created by AI where the agency keeps 100% and types of photos that only a person could create.

Interesting times.

This kind of thing already exists. (Look at any of the on demand video services).

Basically what I see happening is this.

a) Icons8 isn't the first company to do this. But as more of these 'types' of companies get free publicity (= free advertising =sales for products/services they sell) - more and more companies will start releasing these 'image' packs.
b) There will be a HUGE oversupply of these types of images. Literally hundreds of millions.
c) Yes, consumers will 'initially' flock to these 'free' images. But then because 'everyone' is using them, it will look stale/repetitive/etc, and companies/agencies/etc will want a more 'natural' look (aka photographers taking pictures). So then you'll see a spike in 'real' photographers pictures.
d) The cycle will be iterative (i.e., the "ai" companies will then tweek their algorithms to look more 'natural' and the whole cycle repeats itself). Spike again, repeat, spike again, repeat, etc, etc.

Eventually a bit of an equilibrium will be achieved, with very inexpensive photos (same with videos).

BUT - there will still be artists (photographers) that flourish - because this will evolve more into an 'artists' type of world. I.e., photographers who use a combination of both their own photography and "ai" items (i.e., landscapes/backdrops/some generated content) - and people will purchase from them just because they like the look/feel of that artist.

And yes - eventually - algorithsm will then start to steal/replicate/artists 'look & feel' - but that is a little bit of a ways down the road.



wds

« Reply #6 on: September 21, 2019, 10:24 »
+1
Are they truly "computer generated" if they were trained on real faces? My camera could be looked at as a computer that "computer generates" a face when I point it at someone and press the shutter  button.

« Reply #7 on: September 21, 2019, 10:30 »
+2
Are they truly "computer generated" if they were trained on real faces? My camera could be looked at as a computer that "computer generates" a face when I point it at someone and press the shutter  button.

Yes, this is not true AI. This is simply morphing images.

In some ways an academic discussion though - as the result is still 100,000 images to 'flood' the market. (And copycats coming soon, so more likely 30-40 million images).

But still - for the time being - still a demand for regular photography.

« Reply #8 on: September 21, 2019, 11:10 »
+1
If you choose to incorporate these types of computer generated faces into stock media will you need a completely different type of model release from the agency where only the contributor signs and declares that it computer generated etc?

« Reply #9 on: September 21, 2019, 11:12 »
+1
In addition to these, there is also the technology called 'deep fakes', where you replace someone's face in video, apparently that tech is already 'mildly' passable for realism. But they think within a few years it will be impossible to tell it is a fake. And the tech is also mildly passable for faking other people's voices, over time that tech will get much better too.

Yes for sure at some point the agencies will have millions of realistic images and videos that is entirely generated by software. Why wouldn't they? Once the technology is figure out, the cost of production falls to the mere costs of electricity.

Though if you think about it some more, at some point you might not even need stock photo websites. Why not just have a camera look at you, you do the pose you want, and the software recognize what you are doing and generates a photo of a beautiful person doing your pose, and you have the image you want.   


« Reply #10 on: September 21, 2019, 12:33 »
+1
I'd say this is some clever trickery, I doubt the software/hardware knows all the parameters (type and intensity of lighting, angle, skin texture and material etc).
If you look at the 3D world you'll see that all these things need to be inputted by user and fine tuned for hours and days. So this must be some kind of 2D trickery where it's impossible to recreate photorealism hence impossible to create stock photos. To have a complete control over everything it needs to be 3D and as of now and years to come 3D design is far from pressing a button, it's actually really hard work and knowledge.

The day of automated/procedural (God I hate "AI" phrase that is so popular about everything these days) 3D design, but I don't think that day is around the corner.   

« Reply #11 on: September 24, 2019, 09:50 »
0
The More accurate faces you can produce, more model release the agency Will ask for  8)

Also, there Will clearly soon options to modify faces and human expressions, but you Always Need to think WHAT to do with this.

It's not only quantity of different faces expressions, it's more about what do you think can sell we'll, IMHO

« Reply #12 on: September 27, 2019, 07:01 »
0
This Company is Giving Away 100,000 AI-Generated Portraits for Free.

https://petapixel.com/2019/09/20/this-company-is-giving-away-100000-ai-generated-headshots-for-free/ [nofollow]

As it's improved it will probably expand into landscapes, wildlife and quite a few other subjects in stock photography. Or even art, paintings and prints.

What's this mean for the future of stock photographers? Or even traditional camera sales which are already nose-diving as a whole.

I think we're better then AI for now.


 

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