In an interview given at the recent Code Conference, Getty Images CEO Craig Peters divulged the company's approach to artificial intelligence (AI) and the implications it has for copyright and disinformation within the industry. Approximately a year ago, Getty took a decisive stance, banning users from uploading or selling AI-generated content due to rising copyright concerns. The company later filed a lawsuit against Stability AI, alleging the misuse of Getty's images to train the latter's Stable Diffusion tool.
This, however, does not mean that Getty is planning to turn its back on the possibilities AI holds for the industry. Just prior to the conference, the company launched “Generative AI by Getty Images“, its own AI tool for creating unique AI photographs. This tool has been trained exclusively on images to which Getty holds the copyrights, making it a safe alternative for users while also respecting the intellectual property rights of the creators.
Compensation Plans for Photographers in the AI Era
An interesting aspect of the generative AI tool is that Getty has constructed a means to remunerate photographers whose images are utilized to generate new content. Peters explained that currently, pay-outs would be based on the proportion of content contributed for the AI training set and how well that content had performed within Getty's licensing model. The company envisages this as a blend of quality and quantity and is open to exploring fairer approaches if they arise.
On the key issue of the pricing model and its potential impact on the hiring of real photographers, Peters stated that it is too early to predict. He clarified that Getty's AI tool has set out to empower and not to eliminate creators. The aim is to see more creators in the industry, not less, achieved by enabling creators with better tools.
Challenging AI's Impact on Authenticity and Addressing Deepfakes
As the 2024 U.S. election looms, deepfakes and disinformation form another critical challenge that Getty, with its long-standing tradition of storing real, significant images, plans to address. In a world where AI-generated images are increasingly prevalent, maintaining the authenticity of imagery is becoming harder. Getty is engaging with partners and competitors alike, exploring measures to preserve the authenticity of photographic content.
Additionally, Peters spoke about the ongoing lawsuit with Stability AI and referenced the tension between the idea of “fair use” proposed by technology companies and the necessity for copyright holders to protect and profit from their content. Here, Getty seeks to balance the interests of both sides and remains committed to defending both photographers and the broader artistic community from the potential threats imposed by AI.
Recent examples of image generative AI
- NVIDIA has been advancing the state-of-the-art in generative AI research, with new methods to enhance the realism and quality of AI-generated images.
- OpenAI, the research organization behind DALL-E, has also introduced ShapE, a generative model that can create 3D models from text, opening up new possibilities for AI in image creation.
- Stability AI, a startup that focuses on generative AI, has released StableStudio, an open-source web app that uses its Stable Diffusion model to generate images from text prompts. Users can also use DreamStudio features to make multiple variations of an image with different styles and attributes.
- Meta, the company formerly known as Facebook, has unveiled I-JEPA, its own AI image generator based on its generative transformer model. I-JEPA can learn the associations between words and images, and generate realistic images from text descriptions.
- Alibaba, the Chinese e-commerce giant, has launched Tongyi Wanxiang, a generative AI image generator that can handle both Chinese and English languages. Users can customize the image output parameters using Composer, a large model developed by Alibaba Cloud.