Shutterstock’s Creative AI Introduces Generative Editing


Looking for the perfect photograph for your media campaign used to be a really painful process.

person dipping paintbrush on paint
Person dipping paintbrush on paint. Photo by Rifqi Ali Ridho

And then came the advent of massive online libraries like Shutterstock that made everything a whole lot easier.

But there is still one major flaw to this system and that is that the archive only contains what is submitted to it.

That is, until the advent of generative AI and its uncanny ability to alter elements within photographs.

With this new technology, you can generate an entire scene via nothing more than a text description or you can generate additional elements to put into existing photographs. To call this a “game changer” is certainly one perspective to have on all of this.

Now you can do this with the Shutterstock archive using what the company is calling Creative AI. Some of the features being touted include Magic Brush, Expand, Variations, Filter, Crop, and Background Remover. You know, the usual suspects.

Marketed as a tool for making marketing images, among other things, easier to produce, Shutterstocks’ foray into this area is pretty similar to other efforts we’ve seen albeit with access to the company’s massive library.

Naturally, all of this brings up questions of compensation and limitations. First, not everything in the Shutterstock archive is available for generative AI manipulation and those images that are used will provide compensation to the original creator. Further, and as is becoming increasingly common, AI-generated images won’t be available for license in the broader archive thus preserving the integrity and provenance of the original work, PetaPixel reports.

Any thoughts you might have on Shutterstock’s introduction of generative AI are welcome in the comments below.

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About Author

Kehl is our staff photography news writer since 2017 and has over a decade of experience in online media and publishing and you can get to know him better here and follow him on Insta.

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