Shutterstock Unveils AI-Powered Photo Editing, Allowing Full Customization of Image Library

Shutterstock Unveils AI-Powered Photo Editing, Allowing Full Customization of Image Library
Image Credit: Shutterstock

Shutterstock has introduced new AI features that will dramatically expand creative possibilities for its library of over 700 million stock photos, the company announced. Powered by a partnership with OpenAI, Shutterstock’s photo editing capabilities will allow users to seamlessly modify images directly within the Shutterstock platform.

The new AI editing suite houses six primary capabilities:

  • Magic Brush: Effortlessly transform an image, designating areas for alteration, and providing a simple description of desired changes.
  • Variations: Generate alternate renditions of any stock or AI-produced image.
  • Expand Image: Enlarge the scope of any photograph, mimicking the effect of zooming out to capture more of the backdrop.
  • Smart Resize: Adjust the image's dimensions to desired specifications seamlessly.
  • Background Remover: Swap or erase image backgrounds while retaining the primary subject.
  • AI Image Generator: An advanced tool that crafts high-quality visuals within moments based on user descriptions.

Additionally, a new AI virtual assistant will provide on-demand guidance during the editing process. According to Shutterstock CEO Paul Hennessy, the goal is to make stock photos highly customizable - "as if directing the photoshoot themselves."

Shutterstock says this is the first such integration of AI editing into a major stock photo marketplace. The features allow creatives to refine images to precisely match their needs rather than settle for existing options.

The company hopes this will significantly accelerate creative workflows by enhancing ideation and reducing barriers. Users can rapidly iterate on images during the design process rather than painstakingly hunt for new suitable assets.

Shutterstock creator royalties will still apply after AI-assisted edits. However, to protect creator IP, AI-generated content will not be accepted for licensing on the platform.

Shutterstock’s rollout of AI editing capabilities builds on its prior efforts around ethical AI. This includes joining the Content Authenticity Initiative to certify the provenance of AI-edited media through secure metadata and tamper-evident authentication.

Such measures help assure creators that AI will augment rather than displace them. Shutterstock posits AI as the next evolution in stock media - a progression that began with digital photographs supplanting film. If executed responsibly, AI can unlock new potential while still preserving human creativity at the core.

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