The Chief Executive Officer of Getty Images, Mr. Craig Peters has berated companies who are bent on commercializing AI art generators.
Peters surmised that firms racing to commercialize these digital impressions are not thinking through the potential legal and ethical hazards of the technology.
He made this known in an interview with The Verge, where he reiterated his company (Getty Images) stance against the sale of AI content.
Getty Images had last month banned the sale of Artificial Intelligence (AI) content at the announcement of a new partnership between the company and Israeli firm Bria that seeks to offer AI-powered image editing tools.
The company’s stance on AI-generated content is a departure from that of its rival Shutterstock, who we reported announced today it will begin the integration of AI art generator DALL-E directly into its site’s offerings.
“I don’t think those questions have been answered.”
“We took a step around AI-generated imagery to protect our customers,” Peters told The Verge.
“There’s a lot of questions out there right now — about who owns the copyright to that material, about the rights that were leveraged to create that material — and we don’t want to put our customers into that legal risk area […] There have been assertions that copyright is owned by x, y, z, by certain platforms, but I don’t think those questions have been answered.”
Peters added: “I think we’re watching some organizations and individuals and companies being reckless […] I think the fact that these questions are not being addressed is the issue here. In some case, they’re just being thrown to the wayside. I think that’s dangerous. I don’t think it’s responsible. I think it could be illegal.”
A large fraction of AI art generators were trained from data taken from the web, and this included l copyrighted imagery like stock photography, owned by Getty Images’.
There have been divergent views on the commercialization of AI contents, with some experts opining that the creation of these systems is ethical and covered by the US fair use doctrine, while some are of the opinion that there could be future legal challenges as the law catches up with this new technology.
Craig Peters affirmed that despite being against its commercialization, Getty Images ain’t ignoring the creative potential of AI, stressing that the company’s partnership with Bria will allow it to offer customer “ethical” AI tools.
The partnership with Bria will in the short term place it’s focus on image editing rather than generation.
The web page of Bria actually advertised how the company’s tech can automate simple tasks like object removal or make more intrusive edits, like changing the race, gender, and appearance of models in stock photographs.
The copy on the Bria’s website reads:
“Create visuals that resonate with every audience by adjusting facial expressions to change people’s sentiment and recasting new presenters”.
“Instantly tailor your visuals to different target demographics and A/B test variations to see which best deliver your business goals.”
Images can be edited through the use of Bria’s AI tools, and this included changing the race and facial expressions of models in stock photographs.
Peters when quizzed on if AI-generated content was a threat to Getty Images’ business, the CEO insisted it is not.
While giving an example of how the rise of ubiquitous cameras in smartphones is proof that expertise, rather than volume, is the defining factor for selling content, he said:
“[The smartphone] didn’t threaten our business because at the core of our business, is providing imagery that actually changes a person’s interest level — that grabs our attention,” said Peters. “There’s a level of expertise that goes into the imagery we create that goes beyond a level of, just, ‘gimme a picture.”