Shutterstock is extending its partnership with OpenAI for six more years, allowing the AI company to train its models using Shutterstock’s sprawling library of images, videos, music, and metadata during that time.
The stock image site’s partnership with OpenAI first began in 2021. That’s when Shutterstock started letting the company use its images to train its text-to-image model, DALL-E — a deal OpenAI CEO Sam Altman described as “critical” to the model’s training. Last year, Shutterstock launched a “Contributor Fund” to compensate artists when their work is used to train OpenAI’s models.
At that time, Shutterstock also integrated OpenAI’s image generator directly into its website and banned the sale of AI-generated images that weren’t created using its built-in DALL-E tool. But now, Shutterstock is expanding this integration and says it will give users the ability to “edit and transform any image in the entire Shutterstock library.” Shutterstock also plans to bring AI features to Giphy, the GIF-making platform it acquired from Meta earlier this year.
“We’re pleased to be able to license Shutterstock’s high-quality content library,” Brad Lightcap, the chief operating officer of OpenAI, says in a statement. “This extended collaboration not only enhances the capabilities of our image models but also empowers brands, digital media, and marketing companies to unlock transformative possibilities in content creation and ideation.”
Unlike other image-sharing platforms like Getty Images, Shutterstock is fully embracing AI — and all the consequences that may come with it. Artists have expressed concerns about their work getting scraped to train AI models, which Getty Images has addressed by banning AI-generated content from its platform completely. Getty Images also sued Stability AI, the company behind the AI art tool Stable Diffusion, over allegations that it “unlawfully copied and processed millions of images protected by copyright” on its website.
While Shutterstock may see its library grow through its integration with DALL-E, it might not save the platform from the legal gray area surrounding AI-generated content.