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Adobe Firefly brings generative AI image marketing tool

The CX giant's Firefly is an image creator trained on millions of visuals from Adobe stock content to understand written commands and make images for better marketing.

Adobe on Tuesday released the beta version of its new generative AI-supported image creator, Firefly, which the vendor said acts as a copilot for businesses as they build marketing content.

Firefly-created images were displayed onstage during the Adobe Summit 2023 conference keynote during the unveiling of the new generative AI marketing tool, as Adobe president of digital media business David Wadhwani talked about Firefly's capabilities.

"All of this imagery you see here was created with a text prompt, not with deep, creative tooling," Wadhwani said. "In the coming weeks, vectors and in-painting and out-painting and video, and a lot more 3D content is in the pipeline."

While Adobe has plans for Firefly to produce various types of content, it is starting with images and text effects. Firefly harnesses the aptitude of generative AI, which has become broadly popular in a short amount of time, led by the success of OpenAI's GPT iterations and the Dall-E image generator.

Meanwhile, a fast-moving generative AI battle has been building not only between OpenAI investor and Adobe rival Microsoft and Google, but also among Salesforce, Meta, AWS, Nvidia and other vendors that have also recently introduced similar AI text- and image-generating technology.

"Adobe Firefly is truly impressive," Opus Research analyst Dan Miller said. "It is not late to the game at all. Rather it is showing how to integrate the powerful tools made possible by large language models and generative AI into the lives and workflows of creative people who vitally need them to do their jobs."

Giving credit

Adobe said it is confronting the copyright problems that have sprung up surrounding generative AI-supported tools, which some allege often illegally and unethically steal images and ideas from human content creators.

Firefly was trained on open license content and stock content from Adobe Stock, including contributions from human creators.

What's most impressive is attention to the factors that have deferred broad deployment, like concern over who owns the digital rights to material ingested into the models.
Dan MillerAnalyst, Opus Research

As part of its Content Authenticity Initiative launched a few years ago, Adobe has pledged to label all its AI-generated content to distinguish it from human-made content. Adobe also has pledged to release a "do not train" tag, which allows creative professionals to block Firefly from training on their personally created materials, just by embedding the tag.

Adobe claims Firefly's output is safe for commercial use.

Adobe also plans to start a compensation system to recognize Adobe Stock contributors whose creations have influenced Firefly's training.

"What's most impressive is attention to the factors that have deferred broad deployment, like concern over who owns the digital rights to material ingested into the models," Miller said. "The [Do Not Train] tag is a good example of how Adobe is acutely sensitive to the rights of creators."

Don Fluckinger, an analyst at TechTarget's Enterprise Strategy Group, added that Adobe's proposed safeguards for preserving creators' legitimacy is important for the future of generative AI.

"Adobe senior leadership's thoughtful approach to 'GenAI' with an eye toward protecting creators -- and making their creations commercially safe -- looks like a huge step toward legitimizing the technology for business use," Fluckinger said.

Modernizing marketing insights

Firefly integrates with Adobe Experience Cloud's Experience Manager, enabling users to modify images, such as photos, saved in Experience Manager, and then share them for use across e-commerce and other applications. Insights within Experience Manager can then show users which image features are attracting customers.

"Firefly will be a copilot to designers and creatives the way Microsoft is helping writers and financial analysts with its Microsoft 365 Copilot," Futurum Research analyst Daniel Newman said. "There is an exciting convergence between analytics, creatives, and experiences that Adobe stands to benefit from."

"While Firefly and its capabilities are early day, the company's deep ties to a massive community of creatives should bode well for its adoption," he added.

Adobe Summit 2023 is being held March 21-22 in person in Las Vegas, and online.

Mary Reines joined TechTarget Editorial in October 2022 as a news writer covering networking. Before TechTarget, Reines worked for five years as arts editor at the Marblehead Reporter, her hometown newspaper. She received her bachelor's in journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where she served as an assistant news editor for the student newspaper, The Daily Collegian.

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