A.I. Exploitation Keeps Getty Images CEO Craig Peters ‘Up at Night’

Getty Images has launched multiple A.I. products in partnership with Nvidia.

Craig Peters, CEO of Getty Images.
Getty Images CEO Craig Peters. Jerod Harris/Getty Images for Vox Media

Getty Images has already begun its foray into A.I. products, but its CEO Craig Peters is still nervous about the technology’s power and calls for regulation. At the annual MIPTV event in Cannes, France today (April 10), Peters spoke to The Hollywood Reporter about his concerns, saying the potential exploitation of A.I. is what keeps him “up at night.” 

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“What concerns me is that not everyone wants there to be more creators, some want the creators to be automated away,” Peters told the trade publication in a wide-ranging interview. “Not everybody wants to eliminate the societal issues that can come from this technology.” 

Peters said he believes the industry standards for A.I. are both a regulatory and political responsibility. Though he cited Meta (META) as one of the companies that he felt is doing some self-regulation when it comes to A.I.-generated images, not enough tech companies are adjusting, in his opinion.     

“There are other companies that have done nothing and haven’t made any changes,” Peters said. “It will take regulators to step in and be detrimental to their bank accounts and their ability to do business in certain territories.” 

In September of 2023, Getty Images introduced its first generative A.I. offering called “Generative AI by Getty Images” in partnership with Nvidia (NVDA). The service uses Nvidia’s text-to-image technology, Picasso, to generate images trained on Getty’s own creative library.

In January, Getty doubled down on the collaboration and launched a feature called “Generative AI by iStock,” which provides stock images also trained on Getty’s creative library for small and medium-sized businesses. Getty also released an accompanying iStock website for the service. 

Peters argued that Getty’s A.I. products are “commercially safe” because they’re trained only on licensed photos, illustrations and videos. “It doesn’t know who Taylor Swift is. It doesn’t know who Joe Biden is. It doesn’t know who the Pope is,” Peters explained. The Getty images used to train the A.I. tools are copyrighted, but the images that users create with those tools will not be used to train the A.I. models.

The company’s participation in A.I. could potentially affect the livelihoods of the human contributors on Getty’s platform. But Peters said that human creators will always be needed despite the rise of technology.   

Not everyone can take a meaningful picture. Not just a high-quality picture, but a meaningful one, one that you’d want to use with your brand or on your website to promote your products and services,” Peters said. “I think A.I. makes the creators more important, because when everybody can create as much imagery as they want, it becomes harder and harder to stand out.” 

A.I. Exploitation Keeps Getty Images CEO Craig Peters ‘Up at Night’