Are Adobe’s Settings Allowing the Company to Use Your Work To Train AI?

Robot hand using adobe firefly on phone adobe ai
Poetra.RH/Shutterstock Jinning Li/Shutterstock

This week, users of Adobe Creative Suite have been horrified to learn that the company might be using creators’ work to train its AI products. At least, that’s what they were led to believe after rumors ran rampant.

The platform recently went viral on X after numerous artists noticed that the company appeared to have toggled “content analysis” permission settings to be automatically “on” in everybody’s default user settings. If this mechanism is toggled “on,” Adobe discloses that it may use your content to “develop and improve” its services through machine learning.

A lot of people are taking this to mean that it is automatically feeding creator videos and photos uploaded to Adobe for AI training, specifically for its generative AI art-creation services like Firefly. But, at least on the surface, this doesn’t necessarily appear to be the case.

(Adobe did not immediately respond to Passionfruit’s request for comment via email.)

According to Adobe’s website, the content analysis setting being toggled on allows the company to analyze your content to train and develop “machine learning.” Machine learning refers to a “subset of artificial intelligence in which a computing system uses algorithms to analyze and learn from data without human intervention to draw inferences from patterns and make predictions.”

Per the Adobe website, machine learning is the thing Adobe uses to develop tools like auto-tagging in Lightroom. And while it is true that machine learning is a type of AI, it is not the same as generative AI, like text-to-image generators.

According to the website for Adobe’s suite of generative AI tools, Firefly, the software only trains off of royalty-free Adobe Stock content. Artists receive royalties and bonuses for uploading their work to the service. While some stock image creators are unhappy about this AI policy, Adobe has offered to pay a bonus to creators whose stock images end up being used to train AI as of September 2023.

Still, the bottom line is that some creators outside of Adobe Stock are, by default, giving Adobe permission to use their work to train AI. It’s just not generative AI. And while an “opt-out” option is better than no option at all, a lot of artists feel betrayed that this was done apparently without their knowledge or consent.

“Don’t let corporations get away with harvesting ANY of your information without your consent because they will ALWAYS overstep for profit,” one user advised.

Several users pointed out this setting is likely nothing new, as Adobe has been developing its AI software for years now. However, numerous other X users thanked the original poster for making them aware of this, as this seems to be the first that most creators’ have heard of it.

On one hand, consenting to have your work used to improve Adobe’s products and services could be beneficial, as it would lead to said services improving their overall quality. But on the other hand, a lot of creators are uncomfortable with the fact this option was toggled “on” without their knowledge and, in some cases, their consent.

Are you an artist affected by this change? Please reach out at

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