Adobe Photoshop unveils AI image generator Firefly after backlash over inaccuracy

Adobe announced Tuesday it plans to roll out a tool for full artificial intelligence image generation in its Photoshop software later this year — months after being panned for rendering historically inaccurate photos.

The company’s Firefly tool — akin to DALL-E and Stable Diffusion — will enable creative professionals to generate images from text, positioning Adobe to compete with Microsoft-backed OpenAI, Stability AI, and other burgeoning artificial intelligence startups, Adobe said.

In March, Firefly was criticized for following in the woke footsteps of Google’s image-generator Gemini, producing photos depicting black Nazis and female founding fathers.

Adobe announced its plan to launch an AI image generation tool in Photoshop by 2024, enabling users to create images from text and compete with industry rivals. AP

During a conference in London on Tuesday, the company unveiled a beta version of full image generation, utilizing its new Firefly Image 3, which is set to be more advanced in quality and “attention to detail.”

Adobe executives said the software is not “meant for generating photorealistic depictions of real or historical events.”

Adobe’s commercial image-generating software is deliberately trained on data owned by Adobe to avoid copyright infringement claims faced by rival AI developers.

The new release is meant to streamline the workflow of creative professionals using its software.

Previously, Adobe expanded Photoshop’s capabilities to include filling in or extending parts of an existing image.

The upcoming image-generation tool will enable users to utilize their uploaded images as references for generating new compositions.

Firefly was criticized in March for generating controversial images, such as black Nazis and female founding fathers, akin to Google's Gemini.
Firefly was criticized in March for generating controversial images, such as black Nazis and female founding fathers, akin to Google’s Gemini. Adobe Firefly

For example, a designer could make a quick sketch of a scene on a napkin, snap a photo of that napkin with a smartphone and then ask Photoshop to generate fully featured images in a variety of styles, said Ely Greenfield, chief technology officer for digital media at Adobe.

“Rather than having to very carefully describe exactly what goes where and try to make sure that I’m specifying the things I want things and that I don’t, it’s borrowing from the reference. So this is an amazingly powerful capability,” Greenfield said.

In a statement, Adobe announced that the latest release of Photoshop is now available through the desktop beta app, but did not provide a specific date for the general release in 2024.

Since its launch in March 2023, Firefly has generated over 7 billion images, Adobe said in the statement.

The application has contributed to a 30% year-over-year growth in users for the nearly 40-year-old image-editing software Photoshop, according to media news source CNET.

With Post wires

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