Getty Images Launches Generative AI by iStock 

By Robyn Foyster Robyn Foyster has been verified by Muck Rack's editorial team
on 27 February 2024

Getty Images recently announced the launch of Generative AI by iStock, an affordable and commercially safe generative AI tool to help users and businesses easily turn their creative visions into powerful content at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES).

Powered by NVIDIA Picasso, a foundry for custom generative AI models for visual design, and trained exclusively using high‑quality content and proprietary data from Getty Images’ creative libraries, Generative AI by iStock has been engineered to guard against generations of known products, people, places or other copyrighted elements.

This mean businesses can have confidence in the content they are generating, but any licensed visual that a customer generates comes with iStock’s standard $10K USD legal coverage that customers have with iStock’s broader image and video libraries.

The beauty of Generative AI by iStock is that it gives customers multiple ways to get the right visuals for any need, including print marketing, social posts, and online promotions.  

Here Women Love Tech talks to Andrea Galiano, AI/ML Senior Director at iStock about its library of authentic and commercial-ready imagery, including millions of exclusive photos, illustrations and videos.

How will Generative AI by iStock help businesses?

iStock’s VisualGPS research shows that there is appetite among businesses to use AI-generated content to improve their marketing and content strategies, with 40% already exploring its use. However, smaller businesses (1-10 employees) have less time, resources and budget to dedicate to visual content than macro businesses (11-200) and to use AI in a safe and sustainable way.

Generative AI by iStock was created as an affordable, commercially safe, legally indemnified,  and easy to use tool for small businesses and creators to explore generative AI in a way that is responsible and ready to use in their marketing and promotional activities. iStock’s generative AI tool not only ensures the images look great, but since it has only been trained on our creative library, you can’t generate visuals that contain elements that would violate intellectual copyright. And every visual generated can be licensed with the same broad royalty free license, and $10K in legal indemnification that is provided when licensing content from iStock’s vast pre-shot library.

This gives business owners the peace of mind that they can use and incorporate AI-generated images into their commercial work, whatever that might be, and avoid any liability issues. The tool has also been tuned in a way that offers variety and diversity in the visuals it creates, using content from iStock’s creative collections focused on diverse representation and perspectives. This gives creators the confidence they can create content that meets industry standards.” 

Getty Images Launches Generative AI by iStock
Getty Images Launches Generative AI by iStock

Should people be informed they are viewing AI images? Why? 

Yes, at iStock and Getty Images we believe that people should know when they are interacting with AI-generated content or an AI system, and people expect this level of transparency too. iStock’s VisualGPS research shows that 9 in 10 consumers globally want to know whether an image has been created or altered using generative AI. 

We’ve ensured transparency around content that is AI generated in a number of ways. When businesses are using Generative AI by iStock, a unique ‘AI Generated’ watermark will appear on preview images. In addition, the metadata on AI generated images will include a new field that indicates the image was AI generated, and which model and model version were used. 

Fundamentally, generative AI is a tool. Getty Images believes in the power of creativity and authenticity that is best conveyed through the expertise of our creators and partners, and AI is an additive – not a replacement – for human creation and connectivity. As a tool, AI should be created and used responsibly, in a way that respects the longstanding rights around intellectual property. 

Getty Images Launches Generative AI by iStock
Getty Images Launches Generative AI by iStock

Is it safe to use these images for commercial use?

Yes. To think of it in a simple way, because it was only trained on our creative imagery, our AI model does not know who Margot Robbie or The Simpsons are, or what a Nike swoosh represents, and therefore cannot create visuals that contain those types of elements that could create a legal risk if used for commercial purposes. 

In addition, the AI service does not allow users to generate visuals in the style of named artists, to protect artists rights and their intellectual property.

We are blocking restricted content from being entered in the Text Prompt box in the tool. We will take the same approach as with our pre-shot content in terms of the scope of what is considered restricted or inappropriate content. 

We are continuously working with NVIDIA to analyse and block generated outputs using a restricted list that was created in collaboration with us.  

If a customer feels the AI Image Generator produced unsafe, inappropriate, or harmful images, they can use a dedicated button icon to report results that need our attention such as: trademark or copyright violation, authorship concerns, stereotypical/biased results, promotes violence or hatred, sexually explicit content, or other.

Getty Images Launches Generative AI by iStock
Getty Images Launches Generative AI by iStock

What is Getty Image’s plan for AI?

No one knows what the future of AI holds, but we are optimistic about the possibilities for creatives. We’ll continue to be at the forefront of the conversation to make sure these AI models are commercially safe and done in a way that compensates creators. In the near term, we’re focused on helping brands and businesses use these tools to do their jobs faster and with better content.” 

Getty Images Launches Generative AI by iStock

Are you worried about AI’s impact on photographers? 

Every time a new technology comes out people fear what it’s going to do to the existing workforce, especially those who work in the creative industry. Take the camera phone—people thought we’d no longer need event photographers but we actually saw the opposite. Ultimately, there is a difference between snapping pictures with our phones and professional photographers capturing the world around us. 

We believe the same will hold true for AI, and Generative AI by iStock is a great example of how it can be used for good. We’ve used our one-of-a-kind, differentiated content library to build an AI model that we believe is unrivalled and purpose-built for creatives, and helps them create new types of content.

More Info About Getty Images Launch Of Generative AI by iStock

Customers will be able to download and license any generated visual, with legal indemnification at no extra cost, giving them a low cost of entry to explore commercially safe generative AI for their marketing efforts.

iStock is also enabling advanced generative AI features through APIs for easy integration into creative applications and plugins, allowing for the modification of images.

Generative AI by iStock is now available for all iStock customers in over 75 languages. To learn more and sign up, visit:

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