Adobe has updated its guidelines for accepting AI-generated art

The new guidelines provide restrictions and regulations for creators submitting art.
Brittney Grimes
Adobe Stock AI-generated art.
Adobe Stock AI-generated art.

Adobe Stock / Art Master, Middle: Adobe Stock /Robert Kneschke, Right: Adobe Stock / Forest Spirit 

Adobe has now started accepting AI-generated stock images on its platform, but with regulations. The company updated its guidelines to allow generative AI images submitted by users on its stock art and photo services. The company announced its new set of guidelines on Dec. 5, stating that creative artists must label any AI-generated artwork. Adobe will also require permission for any text prompts or image sources that were used to create the content.

“Our generative AI policy prohibits submissions based on third-party content — including text prompts referring to people, places, property, or an artist’s style — without proper authorization,” Sarah Casillas, the senior director of content for Adobe Stock, said in a statement.

The new policy

All AI-generated artwork has to be uploaded and submitted as illustrations. The updated policy cautions users to not submit multiple versions of pictures based on the same prompt.  It also warns creators not to describe AI generated content as depicting real people or places.

The content has to be titled and tagged with the keywords generative AI, to make sure there is no confusion in considering the work as AI-generated, even if it looks like a photograph.

Adobe has updated its guidelines for accepting AI-generated art
A sample Adobe image submitted as Generative AI.

Adobe is attempting to find a balance between incorporating new AI-generated art to include on its website as content, while also trying to avoid infringement or copyright issues. “When generative-AI is used and labeled properly to create useful and beautiful content — so that customers are clear about the provenance of the assets they are choosing – we believe it deserves a place in our Stock collection,” said Casillas.

Some companies have steered away from accepting AI-generated art, while others have openly embraced it. For example, earlier this year, Shutterstock collaborated with OpenAI, the creators of DALL-E 2 and ChatGPT, to start selling AI-generated art. Adobe acknowledges the concerns of using AI-generated art, but also wants to assist in leading the way in content creation that will come from using artificial intelligence incorporated into art.

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AI used as an art tool

On the company’s website, it mentions using artificial intelligence as a tool to use for creating art. “Generated illustrations can tell new stories in creative ways when generative AI tools are used considerately and with good intentions,” the company said on its guidelines page. “Apply your stock knowledge to approach new content opportunities with AI tools as part of your creative process.”

The large emphasis is placed on using AI as a tool, not as a replacement for an artist’s work created without AI. “Adobe Stock contributors are using AI tools and technologies to diversify their portfolios, expand their creativity, and increase their earning potential,” Casillas said. “Properly built, used, and disclosed to viewers, generative AI can be a powerful tool to enhance creativity, accelerating the creative process to benefit both consumers of digital assets and the community of contributors who produce those assets.”

Labeling the content

If the content created with AI shows an identifiable person, the individual portrayed must sign a release form before the art can be used. Otherwise, the image should not be submitted, according to the website. Also, Adobe emphasizes that content must be clearly labeled, and must mention that it was made using generative AI tools. If the artwork is not labeled, then Adobe will not include the work in its content galleries, customer research or promotional materials.

The company wants to encourage and empower creators, while “never seeking to replace human imagination.” Instead, it wants to add AI-generated art to its roster, not take away from artists who are creating art without it. Adobe sees this as an innovative step in the right direction to combining AI and art.