Shutterstock and United Nations Launch ‘AI For Good’ Image Contest

AI robot plants trees

Shutterstock has teamed up with the United Nation’s AI for Good initiative to launch an artificial intelligence image contest.

Titled Canvas of the Future, the contest is asking entrants to submit AI images that “showcase their vision for a sustainable future in alignment with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs).

The UN SDGs are 17 goals for a better world and cover things like: “No Poverty”, “Zero Hunger”, Quality Education”, “Clean Water and Sanitation,” “Climate Action,” et cetera.

The contest runs under the UN’s ITU AI for Good program, an organization aiming to capitalize on the AI boom to improve the world. The panel of judges includes Shutterstock’s Chief Technology Officer Sejal Amin and its Senior Director of Artificial Intelligence and Data Science Alessandra Sala.

Under the competition’s “Submission Guidelines”, it states that a “high-resolution digital image (300 dpi +)” is required and interestingly notes that the AI image must be created “using ethically-sourced, licensable creative tools to ensure responsible use of AI.”

Shutterstock, which operates a DALL-E powered AI image generator, claims that its generative AI tool is “ethically created” which looks to be the tie-in here.

Back in July, it was reported that Shutterstock may have paid out over $4 million to photographers and artists whose work has been used to train text-to-image models from its AI contributor fund and the photo stock company has also offered customers full indemnification, protecting them from potential claims against the use of the images.

Shutterstock has not publicized the AI image competition: there is no press release or social media posts promoting the contest; PetaPixel has reached out for comment.

DIY Photography notes that the submission deadline for the contest is February 29 and that the winner will get to showcase their at work at the AI for Good Global Summit 2024 in Geneva, Switzerland.

Back in October, a prestigious photography competition drew criticism after it held the “world’s first” AI image awards. The Ballarat International Foto Biennale handed a “promptographer” $2,000 for her AI-generated picture of two sisters hugging an octopus.

Image credits: AI-generated by DALL-E