Apple Secures Millions of Images from Shutterstock for AI Training: Report

  • Apple’s deal with Shutterstock is part of its attempts to boost AI features.
  • However, reports suggest that other tech giants like Meta, Google, and Amazon have also made similar deals with Shutterstock.

Apple has negotiated with Shutterstock to license millions of images for AI training. The deal, worth $25-50 million, is one of several made by major tech companies to license content for AI models legally.

This move seems to be in response to legal concerns surrounding copyright infringement from scraping data from the web. According to a report from Reuters, other companies, such as Meta, Google, and Amazon, have also made similar deals with Shutterstock.

However, this is not Apple’s first foray into AI content acquisition. Reports suggest Apple has been in talks with news publishers like The New Yorker, NBC News, The Daily Beast and more to license articles for training purposes.

Apple’s AI Collaboration with Google

According to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, Apple and Google are in active talks to enable Apple to license Gemini, Google’s generative AI model, to integrate some new features into the upcoming iPhone 16 series. The iPhone 16 series will be released in September this year.

Interestingly, the report also stated that Apple talked with OpenAI about using its AI model in future iPhones. If Apple uses Google’s Gemini model to power some AI activities, it will boost the search giant’s AI strategy. Samsung has already unveiled its 2024 flagships with AI features, which Gemini powers.

Apple’s AI Startup Shopping

However, it’s not like Apple will completely depend on Google for its AI capabilities. The tech giant is also aggressively building its own AI capabilities. According to a report from Statista, in 2023, Apple acquired a staggering 32 AI startups, significantly more than Google’s 21.

Apple’s Internal AI Development (Project Ajax & Apple GPT)

Furthermore, Apple CEO Tim Cook has announced that “The company will break new ground in generative AI in 2024.” The company recently abandoned its decade-long car project to focus on artificial intelligence. According to Gurman, Apple is already working on its large language model, internally referred to as Ajax, along with a rudimentary chatbot named Apple GPT.