Getty Images has announced the release of a generative AI art tool that it claims is "commercially safer" than other, competing products on the market.
Called 'Generative AI by Getty Images', the tool is driven by an AI model from tech company Nvidia, and is trained solely from Getty Images’ vast creative library (477 million assets) including exclusive premium content, with full indemnification for commercial use.
The Getty Images Gen AI tool generates photos from word prompts or descriptions of the images, similar to popular text-to-image platforms like OpenAI's DALL-E 3 and Midjourney. For example: "Photo of a city at sunset."
The tool is already available on GettyImages.com, and customers can also choose to integrate the service into their existing workflows and applications through an available API.
Customers who use the tool to create and download images will be granted the normal royalty-free licence from Getty Images, which the company claims includes indemnity (i.e. Defence against copyright claims) and the right to "perpetual, worldwide, nonexclusive" use across all media.
Getty Images has said that content generated through the tool will not be added into existing Getty Images and iStock content libraries for others to license. Furthermore, contributors will be compensated for any inclusion of their content in the training set.
However, the tool is not entirely unrestricted.
Even though the Getty content library contains images of famous people, the company states that it has implemented measures to stop its generative tool from spreading false information or imitating the work of actual artists.
For instance, the tool would not permit a user to draw a picture of Donald Trump in front of the White House or a cat in the Andy Warhol fashion, according to The Verge, which got early access to the tool. Additionally, each image produced by the programme has a watermark indicating that it was generated using AI.
The new AI image generator follows hot on the heels of other competitors who have released similar products on the market, including Shutterstock who launched its AI image generator back in January.
A spokesperson for Getty Images told Campaign that their tool stands apart from others by being "commercially safer."
"Firstly, not all AI generator services and tools are automatically safe to use for commercial purposes," said a spokesperson for Getty Images. "Some are even requiring that Individual outputs are reviewed by their Rights & Clearance teams in order for assets to be offered with full or partial indemnity to a select group of customers."
"We built this tool to be safe to use for commercially safe outputs. We are also offering our standard indemnification on all AI generated content from the tool, giving customers additional peace of mind."
Back in January, Getty Images announced it was suing Stability AI, creators of popular AI art tool Stable Diffusion, over alleged copyright violations. The lawsuit made Getty images' position on the legal and ethical hazards of generative AI systems very clear. While some might perceive the launch of the company's own AI image generator a deviation from their stance, Getty Images says there is a clear distinction between their tool and others.
"Stability AI trained its models with content without the consent of copyright holders," a Getty Images spokesperson Campaign. "We have trained our model with content for which there is a license and contributors will be compensated. Generative AI tools and services should be transparent as to the data that is used for training, as well as the outputs that were created using generative AI."
With the launch of Generative AI by Getty Images, the company is aiming to remain at the forefront of creativity in the AI space, albeit with a tool that they claim is safer and more responsible than existing offerings on the market.
By launching Generative AI by Getty Images, Getty Images says it supports the advancement of generative AI technology that respects intellectual property rights.
"We support the advancement of generative AI technology that respects intellectual property rights, designed to protect creators and sustain ongoing creation," said the Getty Images spokesperson. "We are entering an era where imagery and information are commodities that are going to be in high demand. We’re going to compete in this new era, and we’re at a huge advantage, we’ve used our exclusive, differentiated content to build an AI model that we believe is unrivalled and purpose built for creatives."
Soon, customers will be able to add proprietary data to the tool to develop photos that reflect their distinct brand voice and style. Getty Images has said that this and other service advancements will be added later this year.