Dec 5, 2022 - Technology

Exclusive: Adobe will sell AI-made stock images

A fanciful scene of a snowy, brightly lit storefront made with the help of generative AI

Image: Adobe Stock/Kris Kashtanova

Adobe is opening its stock images service to creations made with the help of generative AI programs like Dall-E and Stable Diffusion, the company tells Axios.

Why it matters: While some see the emerging AI creation tools as a threat to jobs or a legal minefield (or both), Adobe is embracing them.

At its Max conference in October, Adobe outlined a broad role it sees generative AI playing in the future of content generation, saying it sees AI as a complement to, not a replacement for, human artists.

The latest: Adobe says it is now accepting images submitted from artists who have made use of generative AI on the same terms as other works, but requires that they be labeled as such.

  • It quietly started testing such images before officially announcing the move today.
  • "We were pleasantly surprised," Adobe senior director Sarah Casillas told Axios. "It meets our quality standards and it has been performing well," she said.

The big picture: Others are taking a more conservative approach. Getty Images, for example, said in September that it won't accept contributions that use generative AI, citing legal risks.

  • Adobe, by contrast, seems comfortable with the legal risk. Although it is requiring creators to affirm they have proper rights to the works they submit, it will indemnify buyers of stock images should there be any legal challenges.
  • That's significant given that there are a number of unanswered questions around generative AI, including whether people whose works have been part of training the AI systems have any legal claim to the systems or the works they produce.
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