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Google adds Adobe's image generator, Firefly, to Bard

The AI-backed chatbot will have artmaking abilities with Firefly, an image generator that was trained on hundreds of stock images to avoid copyright infringement.

Google's AI chatbot, Bard, will soon couple up with Adobe's AI image generator, Firefly. The combination will become official -- and available -- in the coming months, according to Adobe.

The union will bring Firefly's generative AI-supported artmaking capabilities to Bard, letting organizations instantly create images using text descriptions.

"The partnership has the potential to establish Adobe Firefly as the go-to image generation engine for businesses," IDC analyst Gerry Murray said.

Avoiding copyright infringement

Adobe says that Firefly is safe for commercial use because it was trained on Adobe Stock, which includes hundreds of millions of images, including contributions from human artists and open license content.

"The partnership with Adobe Firefly gives Bard an image generation capability trained on non-copywritten content, which makes it more commercially safe and reliable," Murray said.

Firefly is among a slew of AI-powered image generators, including Craiyon, created by machine learning engineer Boris Dayma; Midjourney from Discord; Stable Diffusion from Stability AI; and ChatGPT creator OpenAI's Dall-E. Unlike Dall-E, which was trained on the open web, Firefly is explicitly law-abiding, making it the most attractive choice for commerce, Murray said.

"It's an interesting example of how training data may be the most important differentiator between AI services rather than usability or output," Murray said.

But as generative AI offerings become ubiquitous, Adobe may need to do more to stay ahead of the competition. This time next year there could be a full stack of generative services offered online, he said.

"Consumers are going to expect every search and social platform to offer the full range of generative AI capabilities," Murray said.

Human-generated ideas and edits

In addition, Bard will be united with Adobe Express, an app that lets users create text, images and videos for logos, flyers, PDFs, social media posts and other content, according to Adobe.

The partnership has the potential to establish Adobe Firefly as the go-to image generation engine for businesses.
Gerry MurrayAnalyst, IDC

Users in Bard can type in a description of their desired image in Firefly and then edit it in Express using Adobe Stock images as well as fonts and templates. From Express, users can then share the image straight to social media platforms.

Firefly in Bard uses open source technology from the Content Authenticity Initiative, an association founded by Adobe, Twitter and The New York Times to prevent disinformation. This technology tracks content creation and modification for transparency.

While many frown at the prospect of art by AI, perhaps just as many also embrace the technology as a modern medium for creativity.

Since Adobe Firefly beta was released in March, it has created more than 70 million images, according to Adobe. The advent of generative AI has fomented both awe and distrust, especially for visual artists. But it appears it is here to stay.

Mary Reines is a news writer covering customer experience and unified communications for TechTarget Editorial. Before TechTarget, Reines was arts editor at the Marblehead Reporter.

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