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Today, at Adobe MAX, billed as the world’s largest creativity conference, Adobe announced its commitment to support creatives by ensuring transparency in the use of generative AI tools. 

In a year dominated by the rise of generative AI tools – such as OpenAI’s DALL-E 2, Google’s Imagen, Stable Diffusion and MidJourney – Adobe, the world’s leading computer graphics software company, said its approach to developing creator-centric generative AI offerings would leverage its Content Authenticity Initiative (CAI) standards and invest in new research to support creatives’ control over their style and work.

The CAI is an Adobe-led initiative that enables creators to securely attach provenance data to digital content, helping ensure creators get credit for their work and audiences understand who made a piece of content and how it was created. 

The news comes as artists say they have no control over AI image generators copying their style to make thousands of new images, while legal experts have weighed in on questions around ownership of images generated by AI tools. 

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Adobe says it’s experimenting with generative AI

“Adobe, like other innovators, has been experimenting with generative AI,” said Scott Belsky, chief product officer and executive vice president, Adobe Creative Cloud, in a blog post tied to the announcement. “It is a transformational technology, one that will accelerate the ways artists brainstorm and explore creative avenues.” 

That said, Belsky added generative AI raises valid concerns. “Among the questions, how is the work of creative people being used to train the AI models? And how will we know whether something we see was created by a human or a computer?” 

Belsky said Adobe, which is known for flagship products such as Photoshop and Illustrator as well as for its mobile app Adobe Express and its SaaS offering, Creative Cloud, is “early” in their journey to integrate generative AI into Adobe creative tools. 

“But let’s imagine, for instance, AI within Photoshop that generates rich, editable PSDs,” he said. The AI could generate a dozen different approaches, he explained, that a creative professional could choose from to explore further using Photoshop’s full selection of tools. 

Or, generative AI incorporated into Adobe Express could help less experienced creators. “Rather than having to find a premade template to start a project with, Express users could generate a template through a prompt and use generative AI to add an object to the scene,” he said. “But they still have full control.” 

Belsky said Adobe sees generative AI as a “hyper-competent creative assistant” that will “multiply what creators can achieve by presenting new images and alternative approaches, but will never replace what we value in art: human imagination, an idiosyncratic style, and a unique personal story.” 

New AI capabilities across Creative Cloud and Express

At MAX, the company also unveiled new AI-driven capabilities across Creative Cloud apps and Adobe Express, focused on maximizing efficiency and creativity.

Creative Cloud already incorporates a variety of AI-powered features powered by Adobe’s AI engine, Sensei, including Neural Filters in Photoshop, a feature it added in 2020.

Most notably, the company added Select People, a new Adobe Lightroom tool that automatically detects a person within a photograph, then creates masks specific to their facial skin, body skin, eyebrow, iris/pupil, lips, teeth, mouth, and hair.

And new AI capabilities in Adobe Express give creators access to functionality from Adobe’s flagship creative tools, including Photoshop and Illustrator. They can instantly resize videos and images for quick sharing on social media, find ideal color palettes, and canvas over 20,000 Adobe Fonts.

“They are really about maximizing efficiency — so reducing those mundane, repetitive tasks, and helping creatives just focus on their creativity,” said Deepa Subramaniam, vice President of product marketing, professional creativity at Adobe. “We’re continuing to incorporate innovation with Sensei AI, and it’s really at the center of everything that we do.”

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