Shutterstock Removing AI-Generated Images
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Shutterstock is removing AI-generated images with many AI artists using stock photo sites to monetize the images grafted using Midjourney.

This is inevitable especially with the popularity of tools like DALL-E and Midjourney. The automatically generated artwork is becoming an increasingly popular trend. Pictures created by AI are starting to appear on stock photo websites like Shutterstock and Getty Images.

On Shutterstock’s database, a search for “Midjourney” gives you AI generated images with higher popularity scores. However, the majority of photos are that of Midjourney’s logo as of Tuesday night.

Other images include tags reading “AI generated” for example, one image is an illustration of a futuristic building with an image description reading “Ai generated illustration of futuristic Art Deco city, vintage image, retro poster.” Other images which have been marked AI generated, like this burning mediaeval castle, seem to remain up on the site.

According to ArsTechnica, none of the stock image platforms explicitly prohibits AI-generated images in their terms of service. While Shutterstock users typically make around 15 to 40 percent of what the company makes when it sells an image.

Some people are not in favor of this trend, because the machines use massive datasets from the web. David O’Reilly called Dall-E “abusive” and said that the machine undermines the works of creators who have shared their images on social media without giving them permission to be included in a proprietary learning model.

Being able to create custom artwork is great for those who couldn’t find an artist willing or capable of creating what they were looking for. The issue is that many of the original artists are not compensated for these computer generated creations.

The appearance of algorithm photos on stock photo websites is ironic because many AI-generated images used these sites to gather data. There is an ongoing debate if it’s wrong to profit from these types of photos, but many people are taking advantage of this newfound opportunity and making a quick buck.

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