#Tech news

What Shutterstock's AI Image Generator Means for Users – MUO – MakeUseOf

Shutterstock embraces AI art technology with its own text-to-image tool, and the original artists will be compensated. What does this mean for users?
2022 saw a rapid rise in AI-generated art, provoking controversy among the public, particularly among real artists whose artwork had been used to feed the algorithms without their permission. But Shutterstock found a way for people to utilize AI art generation in a far more ethical manner—a massive win for both artists and users. Keep reading to find out why.
On 25 January 2023, Shutterstock released its very own AI image generator. The new feature came a few months after partnering with OpenAI, which is responsible for fueling the tool using DALL-E 2.
But unlike other AI generation software, OpenAI trained DALL-E 2 with Shutterstock images and data, so that the end result is an image ready for licensing.
Additionally, Shutterstock plans to compensate the artists whose images are used during the generative AI process by creating a cash fund and paying them royalties.
The ability to use AI-generated art without contributing to the misappropriation of owned artworks is a huge breakthrough. If you're not an artist, or you lack the finances or time to source an artist, you can now be assured that you have access to readily available, and more importantly, ethical artworks that are ready to download within seconds.
Shutterstock does require a small fee if you want to download the image without the watermark, but we believe it's a small price to pay considering the recompensing of artists.
If you want to know more about the moral component, see our compilation of the ethical pros and cons of AI art generation. We also take a deep dive into whether AI-generated art should be considered real art.
In considerably improving the ethical component, Shutterstock has managed to recover much of the intent behind AI-generated art—to make art accessible to everyone, and give anyone the freedom to create. The software is still somewhat unpredictable, and it's not a definitive solution, but it's certainly a step in the right direction.
Shannon began freelancing as a content writer in 2020 and obtained her BA in Creative Writing the following year. She has collaborated on various projects of a broad spectrum. Outside of work, Shannon dabbles in music production, digital illustration, and photography.