Shutterstock signs 6-year training data agreement with OpenAI

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Shutterstock has expanded its partnership with artificial intelligence pioneer OpenAI, aiming to cement its position as a premier provider of high-quality training data for OpenAI models. The company said this new six-year agreement will drive transformative capabilities for brands, digital media, and marketing companies.

As part of the expanded collaboration, OpenAI has obtained a license to access additional training data from Shutterstock, including its image, video and music libraries, along with associated metadata. 

In return, Shutterstock will enjoy priority access to the latest OpenAI technology and will continue directly integrating DALL·E’s groundbreaking generative text-to-image capabilities into the Shutterstock platform.

“This deepens our relationship with OpenAI and adds additional asset types such as video and music. Initially, the partnership was limited to images, but then we expanded to collaborate on developing our Shutterstock image generator. We’ll also have early access to all OpenAI technology,” a Shutterstock spokesperson told VentureBeat.


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Beyond text-to-image generation, the integration will offer Shutterstock customers synthetic editing capabilities, enabling them to create new content and edit or transform any image in the vast Shutterstock library. 

Shutterstock said the goal is to facilitate faster ideation and production for customers.

Additionally, Shutterstock and OpenAI have plans to bring generative AI capabilities to mobile users. This initiative will be carried out through Shutterstock’s recently acquired GIPHY platform, creating opportunities for enhanced creative experiences on mobile devices.

“With access to these datasets, OpenAI will be able to leverage the metadata to train its models and create smarter, quicker and more capable tools. For us, we will bring the latest in AI innovation to our customers and contributors, all while ensuring artists are being compensated for the role their content IP plays in training these models,” said the Shutterstock spokesperson. 

The partnership expansion represents Shutterstock’s latest move to bring AI advancements to the creative industry. Recently, the company unveiled its AI Image Generator, a tool powered by DALL·E that empowers users to instantly create customized visuals.

Furthermore, Shutterstock has introduced the Contributor Fund, an initiative that compensates artists for their contributions to training Shutterstock’s generative technology. Artists will also receive ongoing royalties based on licensing activity for newly generated assets.

In a separate development, the Associated Press (AP) has entered a two-year agreement with OpenAI to share access to select news content and technology. Similarly to the partnership with Shutterstock, OpenAI will license a portion of the AP’s text archive dating back to 1985 to enhance its AI algorithms. 

However, the two firms are still finalizing technical details regarding the implementation of this sharing arrangement.

Streamlining image generation 

Shutterstock says that all of its platform’s new AI developments are aimed at helping customers quickly and easily generate their desired images and provide them with numerous creative possibilities. 

“Brands and marketing professionals can save time and money while streamlining their creative process through generative tools. Already, we’ve seen customers generate tens of millions of images using our generator,” the Shutterstock spokespesron told VentureBeat. “For creatives, they will no longer be bound by content restraints, but can create and transform whatever image they want quickly and easily to suit their campaign needs. We’re excited to see what people do with this!”

Besides OpenAI, Shutterstock has collaborated with other industry leaders, including NvidiaMeta and LG, to establish foundational generative AI tools and standards for creators working with 3D images and text.

The company said that its exploration over the last few years of AI’s potential to enhance creative endeavors has led to the development of innovative products like the Image Generator and AI-powered search.

A focus on ethical AI

“A key component in how we impact the creative industry is our strategic partnerships,” added the company spokesperson. “Our ultimate goal is to offer contributors and customers a best-in-class toolset to elevate their work. As part of that mission, we’re committed to an ethical approach that benefits both groups. By working with industry leaders like Nvidia, Meta and LG, and others, we’re able to ensure our ethical approach is upheld.”

The company emphasized its deep commitment to maintaining ethical engagement with AI over the long term.

“We have partnerships with [the United Nations’] AI for Good [platform] and the World Ethical Data Forum focused on exactly this, exploring how we can train and maintain AI systems free from bias,” said the spokesperson. “For our contributors and customers, we want to provide confidence that their work is protected through efforts such as offering indemnification for all enterprise customers.”

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