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Adobe’s Latest Firefly AI Tools and a Revamped Creative Cloud

Adobe has announced the launch of its new AI-powered creative suite.

It integrates generative AI capabilities across its flagship applications like Photoshop and Illustrator.

With the commercial release of Adobe Firefly, the company’s family of creative AI models is now available. Users can access AI-generated content through Creative Cloud, the new Firefly web app, and Adobe Express.

While Adobe promises this will “introduce enhanced creative capabilities”, concerns remain. The impact of generative AI like DALL-E 2 and Midjourney on creative industries and digital content ownership is a topic of discussion.

After a six-month beta period, Firefly’s foundation models for generating images, text effects, and vectors are commercially available. Adobe claims these models support text prompts in over 100 languages. They allow users worldwide to create “impressive” and commercially safe content.

Enhanced Features and Capabilities

Specific Firefly-powered features now included in Creative Cloud applications are Generative Fill and Generative Expand in Photoshop.

Generative Recolour is available in Illustrator. Adobe states these integrations provide unmatched creative power, enabling users to ideate, experiment, and create in new ways.

The company plans to incorporate Firefly into more Creative Cloud apps, including those for photography, video, 3D, and beyond.

Adobe Releases New Firefly Generative AI Models

The release offers AI content creation through Adobe GenStudio and Express for enterprises. Businesses can customise Firefly models with their assets and brand-specific content.

According to Adobe, this allows companies to obtain IP indemnification for most Firefly-generated content.

Major brands like Mattel, NASCAR, and Nvidia collaborated with Adobe during the beta. They will likely be among the first to utilise the technology at scale.

While the technology is beneficial for content production, questions persist. Concerns about how customised enterprise models might reproduce biases or be used for misinformation are notable.

To promote adoption, Adobe has introduced a credit-based model for accessing generative content across Creative Cloud and Firefly.

Paid plans now include a monthly allocation of “fast” Generative Credits.

Users can redeem these tokens to create AI-generated images, textures, and vectors. Once the quota is reached, users must wait for credits to replenish or purchase more.

Adobe is planning subscription packs from $4.99 a month for extra credits.

Transparency and Accountability

On the transparency front, Adobe states that Firefly will label all AI-generated content with “Content Credentials” or a digital watermark.

This provides details like the creation date, tools used, and modifications made. However, the responsibility remains on Adobe to ensure its models don’t cause harm. Given AI’s complex nature, this is challenging.

The launch coincides with significant updates across Creative Cloud.

  • Native Firefly integrations in Photoshop and Illustrator.
  • Premiere Pro with automatic text detection and studio-grade voice cleaning.
  • After Effects featuring a 3D workspace and enhanced Roto Brush.
  • Firefly web app for AI-assisted creativity experimentation.

Also included with Creative Cloud plans is the updated Adobe Express Premium. It offers Text-to-Image and text effects features. This ensures easy access to Photoshop and Illustrator assets within Express, aiding teams in collaborative design.

But while there are opportunities, Express Premium has raised concerns.

Some creatives fear an over-reliance on AI for creativity and execution.

Some artists believe that relying on generic prompts could risk homogenising creative output. They also feel it could undervalue human imagination. Many emphasise that AI should augment workflows, not replace human creativity.

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Pricing Adjustments and User Reactions

Complicating matters, Adobe has announced price increases for specific Creative Cloud plans in North and South America and Europe.

Set to begin in November 2023, Adobe suggests this reflects the added value from features like generative AI. However, creatives have responded negatively to the idea of “paying more” for automated content creation. Many had hoped that making AI more democratic would increase accessibility to creative tools.

Adobe asserts that pricing remains largely unchanged, and generative features are optional. But, for independent creatives burdened by Creative Cloud costs, the price increase might restrict access to new AI capabilities. Adobe risks alienating some of its most dedicated users.

Adobe believes that the value derived from AI and automation will counter any negative feedback. With brands demanding content faster than ever, Adobe positions Firefly as a solution.

It’s described as an AI-powered “creative engine” designed to enhance productivity significantly. The company might believe offering these capabilities will allow price hikes without a major customer loss.

Yet, as the recent backlash against Midjourney’s monetisation strategy shows, public sentiment can shift rapidly.

AI perceived as exploitative is not well-received. Adobe needs to be cautious to ensure Firefly isn’t viewed as prioritising profits over accessibility.

While its integration and focus on augmenting human creativity offer reassurance, concerns about pricing and over-reliance on generative AI remain.

Adobe is at the forefront of AI’s potential in the creative sector. Its decisions could inspire or limit human creativity. Adobe aims to be synonymous with AI’s creative potential. However, a comprehensive public debate on ethical practices is missing.

For technologies like generative AI to benefit society, transparent oversight and open discussions on profits and potential losses are essential. Adobe shouldn’t bear this responsibility alone. Collaborating openly with creators and consumers to guide Firefly’s responsible evolution is crucial.

Ryan Anderson

Ryan specialises in AI media subjects, covering innovations in AI art, music, and more. His academic background, with an MSc in Product Design Engineering and a Masters of Design from Glasgow School of Art, provides a rich foundation for his writings.

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