San Jose tech titan Adobe seeks “creativity for all” with AI launch

San Jose tech titan Adobe seeks “creativity for all” with AI launch

SAN JOSE — Adobe aims to usher in what it calls “creativity for all” through a new set of artificial intelligence technologies that the company made available to consumers starting Wednesday.

The tech titan on Wednesday made available to consumers its Generative AI, which enables people to generate content by using an array of inputs, including text, images, sounds, animation, and 3D models.

Images that show a left panel with a snowboarder performing a trick and a right-side panel displaying the addition of snow-covered trees and mountains. (Courtesy of Adobe)

Do you want to generate an image of a dragon emerging from clouds and breathing fire? Adobe executives believe the company has crafted straightforward and elegant solutions for this and countless other creative endeavors.

A demonstration that Adobe provided this news organization in recent days indicated that such a dragon image can be generated in moments through cloud-linked AI technologies.

The demonstration showed all that is needed is to simply type an intuitive phrase such as “fire-breathing dragon in clouds.” A creator could even tweak things a bit by requesting an image of such a dragon “emerging from the clouds,” the demonstration showed.

“This is creativity for all,” Alexandru Costin, an Adobe executive and 17-year veteran of the Silicon Valley tech company, said during an interview with this news organization. “This enables any consumer to type in a description of any image they might have in their head and it can be generated almost immediately.”

Images of a jungle with a target space in the left panel that becomes the location of a tiger that is added to the image, as shown in the right panel. (Courtesy of Adobe)

Firefly is the name of Adobe’s family of generative AI technologies. Firefly has been integrated deeply into a host of Adobe products, including Photoshop, Adobe Creative Cloud, Adobe Express, and Adobe Experience Cloud.

San Jose-based Adobe, whose host of famous accomplishments include the creation of PDF (portable document format) technology and Adobe Photoshop, conducted a huge beta test of the Firefly AI products and services on a global scale.

“With over 2 billion images generated during the Firefly beta, Generative AI is ushering in a new era of creative expression,” David Wadhwani, president of Adobe’s Digital Media Business, said in a prepared release.

The Firefly artificial intelligence family of products was trained on an array of Adobe-licensed products as well as content in the public domain whose copyrights have expired. This way, people who create content that’s fashioned from the 2 billion images won’t infringe copyrights.

“Creativity is now a simple prompt away,” Costin, who is vice president of Generative AI and Sensei at Adobe, said in the news interview.

In May 2023, Adobe launched a partnership with Google to use the search giant’s Bard, an artificial intelligence-powered conversational chatbot.

Of course, more than a few people are concerned about potential problems that could arise through the use of AI technologies.

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In June 2023, Costin appeared on a Bloomberg-hosted panel with Hilary Krane, chief legal officer for Creative Artists Agency, a Los Angeles-based sports and talent agency, to discuss opportunities and challenges arising out of AI — and the wide-ranging issues that could arise from AI.

“Think about an actor and how important are the creative decisions they make, not just when they are doing a role, but also what roles they agree to in order to create their whole body of work,” Krane said during the discussion. “That’s a real territorial expression of self.”

Adobe crafted Firefly with the needs and rights of artists front and center, according to Costin.

“This was top of mind when we designed Firefly,” Costin said during the panel discussion. “Artists were indeed up in arms about the fact that their public content was used without their consent, compensation, or control.”

These concerns were why Adobe trained its Firefly AI machines solely on content licensed by Adobe or content in the public domain that was no longer protected by copyrights.

“We don’t use any recognizable characters,” Costin said during the Bloomberg event. “Artists are our customers.”

Adobe says it is also working with customers to enable them to craft models by using their own assets to generate custom content.

“Creativity for all has been our vision for some time,” Costin said in the interview.