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Author Topic: Shutterstock - Open AI deal : tool rollout  (Read 18885 times)

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« on: January 26, 2023, 06:42 »
0
https://techcrunch.com/2023/01/25/after-inking-its-openai-deal-shutterstock-rolls-out-a-generative-ai-toolkit-to-create-images-based-on-text-prompts/

"When Shutterstock and OpenAI announced a partnership to help develop OpenAIs Dall-E 2 artificial intelligence image-generating platform with Shutterstock libraries to train and feed the algorithm, the stock photo and media giant also hinted that it would soon be bringing its own generative AI tools to users. Today the company took the wraps off that product. Customers of Shutterstocks Creative Flow online design platform will now be able to create images based on text prompts, powered by OpenAI and Dall-E 2." - an excerpt from the article

The strange part is that while all other AI tools say that the person making the image has full rights to the image, Shutterstock says the created images are ready to license as soon as they are created


« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2023, 09:22 »
+5
Can't say whether the promise of ease of use for the SS customer will play out in practice, but that's what SS claims to be offering - i.e. is the reason that you'd pay them a subscription to use Creative Flow and license the results versus buying credits with one of the AI generators and keeping your fingers crossed you don't get sued in a year or two.

Businesses are often risk averse (with things like image/video licensing) - hence the legal guarantee marketing pitch from a few years back - and would prefer to have a ready answer to anyone who claims they are ripping off the creators on content in the training database if they use AI-generated images. With SS's tools the customer can then say that they did the ethical thing (even if that's just PR drivel fed to them by SS).

From Paul Hennessey in that Tech Crunch article: Our easy-to-use generative platform will transform the way people tell their stories you no longer have to be a design expert or have access to a creative team to create exceptional work. Our tools are built on an ethical approach and on a library of assets that represents the diverse world we live in, and we ensure that the artists whose works contributed to the development of these models are recognized and rewarded.

The Tech Crunch article points out "Again, though, the issue will be whether these payouts be anywhere near the compensation those artists and photographers might have gotten for supplying the images themselves.". The contributor fund results people reported from December suggest that the amounts are like Getty's Connect - minuscule.

In their press release, SS is emphasizing ease of use and convenience as reasons to pick them vs. do-it-yourself

https://investor.shutterstock.com/news-releases/news-release-details/shutterstock-introduces-generative-ai-its-all-one-creative

While I was browsing Tech Crunch, I saw this article about more funding for a Berlin-based Canva competitor, Kittl - which is also very much a SS Creative Flow competitor in that Kittl has partnered with Unsplash for images so they are "free" with both the Free and Pro levels of Kittl

https://techcrunch.com/2023/01/26/this-startup-hopes-to-take-on-canva-raising-a-11-6m-series-a-for-its-design-platform/

If "good enough" designs and no-hassle "not that bad" images/illustrations slapped together by Canva, Creative Flow or Kittl or (any of the many other similar platforms currently out there) are the future, that really sidelines lots of creative professionals.

Look at SS's short video in their press release - "No time? No budget? No designer? No problem!"
« Last Edit: January 26, 2023, 09:50 by Jo Ann Snover »

« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2023, 18:22 »
+4
As a designer and a contributor, I am delighted. What an disgusting time.

« Reply #3 on: January 27, 2023, 00:01 »
+8
And knowing shutterstock they will try and push their AI created art and price it at pennies. Contributors fund pennies might just become the new subscription sales with us looking forward to the ocassional 10c sale

I'm guessing video will be next, so we'll all have to figure out some next steps to ensure we stay afloat

« Reply #4 on: January 27, 2023, 07:38 »
0
I just trying to think at what point does it no longer become financially feasible to keep creating and uploading new content, although I know for many this has already become a reality with the 'race to the bottom'.

Obviously stock agencies know this and they need new content to train the AI for current trends.

So until when do stock agencies keep pushing down the threshold with how little they can payout to contributors, or do they already know what that threshold is?

Uncle Pete

  • Great Place by a Great Lake - My Home Port
« Reply #5 on: January 27, 2023, 14:09 »
+4
I just trying to think at what point does it no longer become financially feasible to keep creating and uploading new content, although I know for many this has already become a reality with the 'race to the bottom'.

Personally about January 2014 but for an even more universal date, January 1st 2020 with the new terms and the first level resent. AI is just another hole in the bucket that doesn't hold much water as it is.

« Reply #6 on: January 27, 2023, 16:35 »
+3
Every failing company in the world does this.
1. Does great
2. Decides to do better
3. Looks at ways to save money
4. Always looks at the highest outlay
5. Realises this is wages
6. Starts reducing workers and wages.
7. Loses more workers than intended.
8. Goes downhill fast.

But SS are removing the wages entirely and replacing the work force with HAL ... and HAL will blow their arse out the airlock because they've hitched their planet to it and legally they are sooooo future f'ked. Even if Getty don't win who'd risk getting sued because you had composit work from god knows where containing elements of copywritten material.

Someone only has to ID part of something that's theirs and social media about it and SS .... poof gone.

« Reply #7 on: January 30, 2023, 15:33 »
+2
Motley Fool wrote a short, and largely positive, piece about Shutterstock's deal with OpenAI

https://www.fool.com/investing/2023/01/28/this-market-beating-stock-is-embracing-the-ai-gene

Stock is up today - whether because of investor optimism about the Open AI deal or something else I don't know. It's at $72.08 this afternoon - about $20 more than a month ago.

There was an SEC filing two weeks ago saying that John Caine will be Global Head of E-Commerce effective January 30, 2023. He came from Nerd Wallet, but before that was with Vroom (used car marketplace) - where the current SS CEO Paul Hennessy came from. They also both worked at Priceline in the early 2000s

https://www.linkedin.com/in/paulhennessy1/
https://www.linkedin.com/in/johncaine/

« Reply #8 on: February 01, 2023, 12:56 »
+3
Look at SS's short video in their press release - "No time? No budget? No designer? No problem!"

It's really interesting. I see a lot of people going out of the business.

« Reply #9 on: February 02, 2023, 14:47 »
+6
https://investor.shutterstock.com/news-releases/news-release-details/shutterstock-host-investor-day-february-28-2023-extended-reality

Today's press release is about an investor-focused dog and pony show talking up all their latest stuff - their "vision, strategy and financial outlook" In person attendance is by invitation only, so probably contributors in the NYC area can't just drop by :)

I think it's interesting that this is "Investor Day" - not something focused on building the business or adding customers. I don't remember them doing a "Customer Day" or a "Contributor Day" at any point :(

« Reply #10 on: February 03, 2023, 01:15 »
+1

I think it's interesting that this is "Investor Day" - not something focused on building the business or adding customers. I don't remember them doing a "Customer Day" or a "Contributor Day" at any point :(

Thats because they are just not important enough  ;D

Uncle Pete

  • Great Place by a Great Lake - My Home Port
« Reply #11 on: February 16, 2023, 14:44 »
0
Just got the email so I tried AI. Seems I could do endless requests, until I get something I wanted?

Here's what the output is:
Large1024 1024 pixels
3 3 in300 DPIJPG
$2.90 10 pack, discounts for bigger packs, same as downloads.

They are selling 1024 square images for $2.90?  :o



And that's the watermark? Right click and save, it's a 1024 JPG, I just added websize for this post.

Select, content aware fill, brush the edges with the healing tool = free image.


« Reply #12 on: February 16, 2023, 15:08 »
+5

And that's the watermark? Right click and save, it's a 1024 JPG, I just added websize for this post.

Select, content aware fill, brush the edges with the healing tool = free image.

Or just use one of the millions of free AI tools and get rid of the watermark in 2 seconds. AI to steal AI image.

« Reply #13 on: March 23, 2023, 13:36 »
+11
I was checking on Shutterstock's stock price today and saw this headline: "Shutterstock has found an unlikely ally in AI" and a link to a Financial Times article about some of the problems ahead (in their view) for Shutterstock:

https://finance.yahoo.com/m/3c6ebbdf-0128-3207-9c67-0d686a631666/shutterstock-has-found-an.html

The Financial Times is behind a paywall, but I was able to follow the link and read the article. Possibly that's because Yahoo subscribes and this is a "gift" article. Some amazing (to me) quotes:

"And increasingly, the image library is used for AI training rather than visual decoration. Large-language-model and neural network developers put a high value on third-party databases of standardised, censored and sanitised content that have detailed text descriptions attached. That means a few customers have been paying a multiple of the median contract value: Shutterstocks average deal size went from $22k in 2020 to $310k in 2021, and to $1.3mn in 2022.

Approximately four-fifths of the value of Shutterstocks AI contracts is booked upfront, with the remainder recognised over the (typically five year) contract life as new photos are uploaded. AI trainers pay almost nothing per image but Shutterstock has a contributors fund that bumps up royalties to an average rate, so for the moment the arrangement is gross margin neutral."


"What happens when those landmark deals with OpenAI and Meta expire? Would they be renewed on similar terms, or on the much lower annual rate they currently pay for their drip-feed updates? Since the main value of the library has been sold upfront, how much negotiating power does Shutterstock have left?

Is the value of the library being protected? Paying creators by the yard has potential implications for quality, as does the generation of AI content from AI content. Potentially, when viewed in terms of clean data, the setup is somewhere between the horsemeat scandal and mad cow disease."


The images used to illustrate the article are a delight :)

I don't think it surprises contributors that Shutterstock pockets all the money from the deal to use the collection to train AI and only shares via the contributor fund when images are somehow "used" by a SS subscriber when generating something for themselves.

Tossers.

« Reply #14 on: March 24, 2023, 06:32 »
+3
The only good thing about AI is that artists can use it to create new (computer-aided) art, it can save time and increase quality, and open up ways for artists to visualize their ideas.

The downsides in the future:
- Oversupply of AI generated images/video, the market will become saturated if it hasn't already. What was once considered a genuine talent or hard work (in drawing, photography, painting or animation) will at some point be replaced by AI.
- The microstock industry will be disrupted, causing those who fall behind to go out of business due to oversupply/diminishing revenue; perhaps agencies will create their own collections, or together with a handful of contributors who have embraced AI as a tool.
- It will be more and more difficult to distinguish between 'real & handcrafted' vs 'computer generated'. (Although this is already a thing with cgi in general, like deepfakes). People might question the authenticity of a photo or artwork, i.e. is it the work of manual labor and talent or was it made by a computer? Is the person in a photo a real living person or AI-generated?

I think the AI trend is unstoppable, and every attempt to postpone it is futile. It's a matter of time before it's here and microstock industry (as well as other industries related to art) will change. The sooner we embrace it, the better. We should however make sure we get compensated fairly for the use of our work in this new technology. 
« Last Edit: March 24, 2023, 06:34 by Noedelhap »

« Reply #15 on: March 24, 2023, 08:27 »
+5
The only good thing about AI is that artists can use it to create new (computer-aided) art, it can save time and increase quality, and open up ways for artists to visualize their ideas.

The downsides in the future:
- Oversupply of AI generated images/video, the market will become saturated if it hasn't already. What was once considered a genuine talent or hard work (in drawing, photography, painting or animation) will at some point be replaced by AI.
- The microstock industry will be disrupted, causing those who fall behind to go out of business due to oversupply/diminishing revenue; perhaps agencies will create their own collections, or together with a handful of contributors who have embraced AI as a tool.
- It will be more and more difficult to distinguish between 'real & handcrafted' vs 'computer generated'. (Although this is already a thing with cgi in general, like deepfakes). People might question the authenticity of a photo or artwork, i.e. is it the work of manual labor and talent or was it made by a computer? Is the person in a photo a real living person or AI-generated?

I think the AI trend is unstoppable, and every attempt to postpone it is futile. It's a matter of time before it's here and microstock industry (as well as other industries related to art) will change. The sooner we embrace it, the better. We should however make sure we get compensated fairly for the use of our work in this new technology.

I think there are way more downsides:

- For once, the amount of people who will do "real" artwork and photography will drastically decrease over time. What artist will sit down 20 hours+ painting a drawing, when no one will be willing to pay him for 20 hours of work, becaus an AI can generate it within 20 seconds at much cheaper costs? What phgotographer will buy expensive new lenses, lighting equipment, buy props and pay models, when it can be done within seconds without all of this? Real drawing and painting and photograpgy will become something people will do merely as a hobby - if at all, because...

- Devalue of work and appreciation of it. The appreciation for real talent and effort will go down. No one will be impressed with a real human made masterpiece anymore,  because we will see these really amazing looking AI generated images everywhere already and at some point will not even be impressed by that. I have watched the AI development closely and even in the very short period of time the reaction has already changed drastically. There are for example some Facebook groups where people post their AI "art". Only a few months ago these images were causing lots of reactions. "Wow, this looks amazing!", "What prompts did you use?" etc. Now there are hardly any reactions at all, not even lame like votes. People have become so used to it already, that they aren't amazed by it anymore. And that's a development I can already see after only a few months. Imagine how it will be in a few years? I have already seen some comments of people who posted in these groups who said it wasn't fun anymore, because "everyone could do it".

- Stereotypical learning of AIs. This is an issue that isn't new, because it has already been a problem with chat bots: They learn by human interactions and recreate it, including all the bad things like racism and sexism. I can already see it in AI as well. Especially in the fantasy drawing sector women are always over-sexualized with huge boobs and hardly any clothes. But it goes further. I just tried a AI series with an "AI replacing humans" theme where I described AI androids doing various human things: Playing socker, music instruments, wiorking at an office, cleaning a car, doing dishes - And, ooops, why do lots of the androids look like battle androids ready to go to war and the dishes clenaing androids have tiny cute noses, huge eyes, small waists and even small boobs? Gender stereotypes the AI has learned and will keep learning. It's difficult enough to get these stereotypes out of humans, it will be more difficult to get it out of AIs.

- The end of microstock. I don't think it will just "change", I think it will be completely gone, replaced by AI image generators.
I think for the near future customers might still rely on other people to create AI images for them, but as AIs advance and gets better at creating images (which happens an at incredible speed), they will not need that "middle man" step. Instead of going to a microstock site and entering "woman playing tennis" in the image serach bar, they will go to an AI image generator and enter "woman playing tennis" there. The middle man will be cut short and we will not longer be needed. Not as illustrators, not as photographers and certainly not as "AI image generators". I don't know how much time we have left, but everyone who really relies on microstock as in income should probably start looking for completely differet business options in the near future.
« Last Edit: March 24, 2023, 08:30 by Her Ugliness »

« Reply #16 on: March 24, 2023, 09:06 »
+3
Today editorial photography is less profitable than commercial photography, also because of its reduced shelf life.

This trend will be reversed.
Training AI takes a lot of time and is very expensive. That puts it many months (maybe half a year or more) behind the present.

So even when AI imagery will become dominant, there will always be a need for news photographers. Maybe the price for editorials will even go up since many photographers will bail out and those doing editorials will end up in short supply.

Maybe the same will be valid for a niche of commercial photography depicting changes in our environment (e.g. city skylines). This is why it's important for photographers doing this type of photography to opt out of AI training schemes (or else they will reduce the shelf life of their work).

PS and side note: many "white collar" "office" jobs will also be replaced by AI, while some "blue collar" jobs (harder to automate) will become more valued, reversing another trend that started with the industrial revolution.
« Last Edit: March 24, 2023, 09:15 by Zero Talent »


« Reply #17 on: March 24, 2023, 13:22 »
+1
Today editorial photography is less profitable than commercial photography, also because of its reduced shelf life.


True, but my editorial photos only made like 5% of my income and my commercial ones 95%, so I don't really see how that's going to bring in enough income to live from, at least for me.

« Reply #18 on: March 24, 2023, 13:28 »
0
Today editorial photography is less profitable than commercial photography, also because of its reduced shelf life.


True, but my editorial photos only made like 5% of my income and my commercial ones 95%, so I don't really see how that's going to bring in enough income to live from, at least for me.

As I said, your 95% will reduce significantly, and, if you don't quit, your 5% might go up in value. But very likely not enough to compensate your losses to your AI competitors, indeed (especially if you helped them train with your assets)
« Last Edit: March 24, 2023, 18:07 by Zero Talent »

« Reply #19 on: March 24, 2023, 13:33 »
+1
Today editorial photography is less profitable than commercial photography, also because of its reduced shelf life.


True, but my editorial photos only made like 5% of my income and my commercial ones 95%, so I don't really see how that's going to bring in enough income to live from, at least for me.

but that's been the trend for years as MS agencies reduced royalties. anyone who expected to make a living just from ms should have been aware of this for many years.

funny how those decrying AI say AI generated art (no quotes!) is poor quality are saying they can't compete with it!

« Reply #20 on: March 24, 2023, 18:03 »
0
funny how those decrying AI say AI generated art (no quotes!) is poor quality are saying they can't compete with it!
Maybe because they need a little more time than 3, 4 words and 1 click...  ::)
Be sure, poor quality didn't wait for AI images...
« Last Edit: March 24, 2023, 18:17 by DiscreetDuck »

Uncle Pete

  • Great Place by a Great Lake - My Home Port
« Reply #21 on: March 25, 2023, 13:20 »
0

funny how those decrying AI say AI generated art (no quotes!) is poor quality are saying they can't compete with it!

Is that like some people complaining that uneducated, untrained people, coming into their country, are stealing their jobs and working for less? What does that say about the level of skill vs the wages?  ;D

Yeah I get it. If AI is so bad, but it's stealing my downloads, and income, then what is my work?

« Reply #22 on: March 26, 2023, 04:07 »
0
Today editorial photography is less profitable than commercial photography, also because of its reduced shelf life.

This trend will be reversed.
Training AI takes a lot of time and is very expensive. That puts it many months (maybe half a year or more) behind the present.

So even when AI imagery will become dominant, there will always be a need for news photographers. Maybe the price for editorials will even go up since many photographers will bail out and those doing editorials will end up in short supply.

Maybe the same will be valid for a niche of commercial photography depicting changes in our environment (e.g. city skylines). This is why it's important for photographers doing this type of photography to opt out of AI training schemes (or else they will reduce the shelf life of their work).

PS and side note: many "white collar" "office" jobs will also be replaced by AI, while some "blue collar" jobs (harder to automate) will become more valued, reversing another trend that started with the industrial revolution.
I doubt we will be making more from editorial. A good percentage of photographers will do more editorial. Maybe the best will make more, but the rest will lose out to the increase in media outlets using photos taken with a mobile. Google street view is used a lot now, I can only see the quality of that improving.

« Reply #23 on: March 26, 2023, 04:12 »
+1
Today editorial photography is less profitable than commercial photography, also because of its reduced shelf life.


True, but my editorial photos only made like 5% of my income and my commercial ones 95%, so I don't really see how that's going to bring in enough income to live from, at least for me.

but that's been the trend for years as MS agencies reduced royalties. anyone who expected to make a living just from ms should have been aware of this for many years.

funny how those decrying AI say AI generated art (no quotes!) is poor quality are saying they can't compete with it!

I am not saying it is poor quality. I am just sayig I can't compete with it.

(and I am also saying it is morally wrong, because it's based on stolen images/work, it is soulless and the actual human creativity involved is below 1%)
« Last Edit: March 26, 2023, 06:04 by Her Ugliness »

Justanotherphotographer

« Reply #24 on: March 26, 2023, 04:44 »
+1
Today editorial photography is less profitable than commercial photography, also because of its reduced shelf life.


True, but my editorial photos only made like 5% of my income and my commercial ones 95%, so I don't really see how that's going to bring in enough income to live from, at least for me.

but that's been the trend for years as MS agencies reduced royalties. anyone who expected to make a living just from ms should have been aware of this for many years.

funny how those decrying AI say AI generated art (no quotes!) is poor quality are saying they can't compete with it!

Very few are saying it is poor quality. Anyone who thinks that needs to go on the Midjourney Community Showcase. The quality of the AI generated work is mind blowing. Way beyond anything posted here.

What some people are saying 1. that people generating the AI with prompts thinking they are brilliant artists is very silly (again go look at the Community Showcase on Midjouney and the prompts used to create the work before any further editing) 2. the roll out of AI has been legally dubious and morally reprehensible. These arent the same as arguing AI is bad quality or can be stopped.

I think the work being generated is amazing and it is a waste of time thinking we are safe because it cant compete based on quality.

I also think 1. artists need to be compensated and compensated well for providing the inputs that actually made the AI possible. 2. That the agencies taking our work for this purpose is totally outside what we signed up for and a massive betrayal.

The only solution is legislation (after all our industry doesnt exist at all without IP laws). I am not in the EU but would encourage those that are to contact their representatives. I believe AI is being debated by them at the moment.
« Last Edit: March 26, 2023, 05:52 by Justanotherphotographer »


 

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