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Getty Pictures Slams Down on AI-Created Pictures, Others Following

As we’d reported previously in our post on the future of photography, AI-generated images and art have started to saturate stock image websites, social media and other mediums. Some have even won art prizes, and the overall trend is only heading in the direction of more use.

Now, in an apparent effort to counter some of this flood to their image-selling platforms, a few of the major stock photo sites that until recently allowed AI-generated imagery to be sold on them have begun applying ban hammers and restrictions.

This had already started previously with smaller, more niche, and quality-oriented photo sale sites such as PurplePort, whose owners applied their own ban quickly and explained their reasoning in a blog post about it.

At that point, however, sites like Getty, Shutterstock and others were still allowing these types of visuals freely. In fact, a search of Shutterstock alone, under the term “AI-generated” yielded well over 18,000 results until recently. Also bear in mind that this just represented images openly labeled by their uploaders as being AI-rendered.

This has changed since then and looks like it will continue evolving considerably. For its part, Getty Images, the world’s largest stock photo repository, has now decided that it won’t accept new submissions created by AI-image generators and that it will delete those found to already be on the site. The agency shared with photo site Petapixel a note that it had sent out to all of its contributors about the new AI image ban.

For a tiny bit of background on this, we suggest checking out our post on our own experiments in AI-rendered image generation for a look at results that range between surreally creepy and outright absurd. We’ve also explored what this kind of technology means for the future of photography.