Top stock photo site gets AI image generator

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Artificial intelligence has made its way to Shutterstock, the popular stock photo company has revealed. 

The text-to-image AI generator is available now on the website – accessible under the Image dropdown menu. Users can add written prompts, with the AI delivering “larger-than-life, ethically created visuals ready for licensing,” according to Shutterstock. 

The launch comes as artists and rival stock image site Getty Images prepare to take legal action against generative AI studio Stability AI.  

Art-ificial intelligence 

Shutterstock are hailing the new generative AI tool, powered by OpenAI, as easy to use and accessible to all. 

Users can create unique images based on a single word or longer phrases – although when we tested out the tool, we found it’s best not to get too complex with prompts. It is technically still in beta, after all, while the company has confirmed its belief that users shouldn’t need to “learn how to write long, complex prompts to benefit from this technology.”

Once created, users are free to refine images using a photo editor or via the site’s Create tool, an image editor built for those without experience in graphic design software.

The key audience is businesses and organizations, with Shutterstock highlighting its potential use in content marketing campaigns. However, keenly aware of the controversies surrounding the use of artificial intelligence in art – and, presumably, in a bid to swerve accusations of copyright theft – the firm is promising to take an ethical approach. 

Noting that it’s the first to support a “responsible AI-generation model,” the Adobe Stock alternative will pay artists for any contributions used to generate the images. 

The commitment tracks with comments made when the initiative was first revealed back in October 2022, when Shutterstock made clear its intention to protect the IP rights of the platforms artists, photographers, and creators. 

“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,” said Paul Hennessy, Shutterstock CEO. 

  • You can try out the generator now but you’ll need a subscription to download any images. Click here

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