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Shutterstock is shooting themselves in the foot with their stupid AI reviews


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Sometime last October, I submitted a batch of interior shots that were all rejected due to "noise". And because they were indoor shots, and I am always willing to look for the fault with myself, I shrugged it off and left it at that rejection. But apparently, the same pics had gotten accepted at Adobe, and it caught my attention when one of them sold there. So, I'm thinking clearly there is a market for it, why not try again at SS. Submitted them again, and apparently the noise magically had disappeared while the files sat on my hard drive. (Who knew computer could be so magical?)

Anyway, now one of them has already sold 3 x in the two weeks it's been up here. So, Shutterstock, WHY? You could have had this thing selling already months ago!

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Yep.  Here is my story.  I rather stupidly deleted some doll photos to upload them to Arcangel.  (Anything uploaded to Arc can't be on microstock).  So... once Arc rejected them, I uploaded them back to Sstock.  However, despite the facts that:

a) they were previously on Sstock and some had sold

b) the photos are in focus as the dolls behaved themselves and stayed still, taken in good light with decent equipment, etc etc..

only a few were accepted.  The rest were rejected for focus. 

One that was accepted was a portrait studio shot.  It sold the same day.  So, I tried to upload the landscape version.  Nope, Sstock's AI said 'no'.  It doesn't want it.  Rejected 3 times so I gave up.

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30 minutes ago, Former_Poster said:

I don't think anyone is under the illusion SS actually review any more.

Its all AI filtered to varying degrees.

 

And think of all the money they save using programs instead of people.  Now if they could just replace these pesky photographers....

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2 hours ago, Studio 2 said:

Yep.  Here is my story.  I rather stupidly deleted some doll photos to upload them to Arcangel.  (Anything uploaded to Arc can't be on microstock).  So... once Arc rejected them, I uploaded them back to Sstock.  However, despite the facts that:

a) they were previously on Sstock and some had sold

b) the photos are in focus as the dolls behaved themselves and stayed still, taken in good light with decent equipment, etc etc..

only a few were accepted.  The rest were rejected for focus. 

One that was accepted was a portrait studio shot.  It sold the same day.  So, I tried to upload the landscape version.  Nope, Sstock's AI said 'no'.  It doesn't want it.  Rejected 3 times so I gave up.

Dang, that sucks, especially since they were already selling. I'd just try again. I seem to have better luck hand-feeding the big machine in onesies and twosies rather than uploading an entire batch.

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Thanks @Milo J I think I might lose the will to live by doing that.  Despite the fact that they sell, 100 year old dolls are not the most sought after of subjects.

Back to AI.  I went to a talk by Demis Hassabis and read quite a lot about the company he founded, Deep Mind.  I know that AI can be 'brilliant' so .. my question is ... what is going wrong here?

The inconsistency is one thing.  How can images have these 'problems' on one submission, but not on the next?  They either are something, or they're not.

The other thing is have the creators of the specific AI used by Sstock linked it to keywords?  If the words antique, old, rustic, shiny, grass, texture, night time, fog, atmospheric, shallow depth of field etc etc are in the keywords then surely it would lead the AI to a different conclusion? 

If the AI is trained to look for smooth perfection in every area of an image then it's rather hopeless really.

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My last uploads took 4 days to be accepted by the major competitior. There are obviously still people at work. But there are also fewer images there. Which doesn't mean that there are fewer usable images. Shutterstock has chosen the path of the masses. And will have to live with the consequences at some point.

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7 minutes ago, Alexandre Rotenberg said:

My record is 6 times resubmitting with no modification until it was accepted!

Alexandre,

this is a doubling of the disaster! You go to the trouble of uploading pictures 6 times, each time costing you time. And afterwards, if the image is ever found, you'll probably get $0.10.

Does it all still make sense here?

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1 hour ago, Studio 2 said:

 

The inconsistency is one thing.  How can images have these 'problems' on one submission, but not on the next? 

Assuming a learning AI you often don't get the same output twice running on the same input.

What's likely happening is a hybrid.  Some media are assigned to 100% AI where its pass or fail.

Some is likely to get an AI screen where its ranked, possible flaws are flagged up and its sent to a person who can accept those recommendations or actually look at the image.

Some may just go directly to a person.

The fact you can get a batch reviewed in 10 seconds sometimes hints its not an entirely manual, human based chain.  Add that to some of the odd ones we see such as property release needed for clouds or a model release for a rock etc.  Its unlikely a person is making those calls.

We *do* know AI is involved somewhere in the process as the CEO mentioned it last year.  As of yet however its not the ONLY thing in the entire chain.

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59 minutes ago, Wilm Ihlenfeld said:

Alexandre,

this is a doubling of the disaster! You go to the trouble of uploading pictures 6 times, each time costing you time. And afterwards, if the image is ever found, you'll probably get $0.10.

Does it all still make sense here?

Makes no sense from a financial point of view.

I just enjoy picking fights with AI!

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For me, it's practically a lottery but I play it because, well, I don't really have a life and my pictures don't sell much anywhere else. One of my best-selling images was rejected 7 times before it was accepted. At least, one of their competitors who also sell images for a few cents don't have any illusions about quality and would take just about anything. With Shutterstock currently, for your image to get accepted on the first go, it needs to be some kind of premium noiseless sparkling good image and they would only give you 10 cents if it sells. Quite a bargain that.

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16 hours ago, Alexandre Rotenberg said:

Makes no sense from a financial point of view.

I just enjoy picking fights with AI!

I never went past two tries. One initial and one downsized. After that, should I actually care if something gets accepted. If I have an unusual and potentially good image, I might, but f it's just more Crapstock, I don't really mind the mindless rejections.

4 hours ago, Heide Pinkall said:

Mostly resubmitting with "priviously submitted" solves the problem - but...

I just discoverd this advice on their own homepage 😉
 

well...

There's another one that I stopped using years ago. Why should I tell them I've submitted an image before. Never seemed to make a difference in the past and I wondered if the opposite could happen "hey this was rejected once, just reject it again..." quick and easy.

Maybe with the AI it's possible that the check could send images to further review, and things have changed, but consider this, some people don't check anything and keep uploading the same, over and over, until accepted. So are we pigeons just hitting the submit button, then being superstitious about, what changed something? I don't know.

Personally I've seen no difference when I used the submitted before and when I didn't.

 

 

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23 hours ago, Milo J said:

Sometime last October, I submitted a batch of interior shots that were all rejected due to "noise". And because they were indoor shots, and I am always willing to look for the fault with myself, I shrugged it off and left it at that rejection. But apparently, the same pics had gotten accepted at Adobe, and it caught my attention when one of them sold there. So, I'm thinking clearly there is a market for it, why not try again at SS. Submitted them again, and apparently the noise magically had disappeared while the files sat on my hard drive. (Who knew computer could be so magical?)

Anyway, now one of them has already sold 3 x in the two weeks it's been up here. So, Shutterstock, WHY? You could have had this thing selling already months ago!

same with adobe stock, starting to hate adobe as well.

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On 1/24/2021 at 6:23 PM, Milo J said:

Sometime last October, I submitted a batch of interior shots that were all rejected due to "noise". And because they were indoor shots, and I am always willing to look for the fault with myself, I shrugged it off and left it at that rejection. But apparently, the same pics had gotten accepted at Adobe, and it caught my attention when one of them sold there. So, I'm thinking clearly there is a market for it, why not try again at SS. Submitted them again, and apparently the noise magically had disappeared while the files sat on my hard drive. (Who knew computer could be so magical?)

Anyway, now one of them has already sold 3 x in the two weeks it's been up here. So, Shutterstock, WHY? You could have had this thing selling already months ago!

The machine is clearly making mistakes. 

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On 1/25/2021 at 1:10 PM, Ackab Photography said:

No worries, it's coming

https://generated.photos/faces

Well you must be psychic?

Shutterstock to Acquire TurboSquid, the World's Largest 3D Marketplace

https://www.marketwatch.com/press-release/shutterstock-to-acquire-turbosquid-the-worlds-largest-3d-marketplace-2021-01-26

Lets see, in house studio added to SS, now 3D and CG models will be next. Who needs those pesky independent photographers?

 

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