Shutterstock Inc., which provides stock photography, stock footage, stock music and editing tools, has announced it will expand its partnership with OpenAI, a research and deployment company. It is launching a fund to compensate artists for their contributions and focusing on gathering and publishing insights related to AI-generated content.

“The mediums to express creativity are constantly evolving and expanding. We recognize that it is our great responsibility to embrace this evolution and to ensure that the generative technology that drives innovation is grounded in ethical practices,” Paul Hennessy, CEO at Shutterstock, said in a statement. “We have a long history of integrating AI into every part of our business. This expert-level competency makes Shutterstock the ideal partner to help our creative community navigate this new technology and we're committed to developing best practices and experiences to deliver on our purpose, which is to empower the world to create with confidence.”

When this integration launches on, customers will receive direct access to AI image-generation capabilities and contributors will be compensated when their intellectual property is used. This agreement further expands the partnership between Shutterstock and OpenAI, which began in 2021.

“The data we licensed from Shutterstock was critical to the training of DALL-E,” Sam Altman, OpenAI’s CEO, said in a statement. “We’re excited for Shutterstock to offer DALL-E images to its customers as one of the first deployments through our API, and we look forward to future collaborations as artificial intelligence becomes an integral part of artists’ creative workflows.”

In other customer experience and digital marketing software news …

Lytics Debuts Conductor to Activate Customer Data

Lytics, a customer data platform (CDP) provider, has announced the launch of Conductor, Lytics' Customer Data Infrastructure (CDI) product. Company officials said Conductor will connect customer data across the marketing and data stack.

“Every company has customer data that is underperforming and in today’s market they can’t afford to,” Jascha Kaykas-Wolff, president of Lytics, said in a statement. “With the introduction of Conductor, Lytics makes it even easier to grab more data from any channel or touchpoint in a clean, structured way in order to quickly drive ROI.”

Conductor is the centerpiece of products that make up Lytics Composable CDP, which also includes Lytics Cloud Connect, a reverse ETL solution that uses SQL attributes to access and import data from the customer’s data warehouse to build segments and Lytics Decision Engine, with data activation and experience personalization capabilities.

Related Article: Qualtrics Launches CrossXM, Former Best Buy CEO Joins Spacee Advisory Board, More News

TELUS International Acquires WillowTree

TELUS International, a digital customer experience (CX) provider, has announced an agreement to acquire WillowTree, a digital product provider focused on end user experiences. Under the agreement, TELUS International will purchase WillowTree for a total enterprise value of approximately $1.2 billion.

As part of the transaction, majority stakeholder Insignia Capital Group will sell its stake in WillowTree. The acquisition is anticipated to close in January 2023.

“Since TELUS International’s inception in 2005, our company has grown, evolved and expanded our global team and capabilities by organically building, selectively partnering and strategically acquiring, which has positioned us to consistently capitalize on market opportunities as the pace of demand for digital solutions grows,” Jeff Puritt, president and CEO of TELUS International, said in a statement. “Today marks the next step in our company’s journey, and I look forward to working alongside the talented members of the WillowTree team to jointly raise the bar for ourselves to better envision, create and implement high-impact, technology-powered brand connections that fuel customer loyalty and establish and maintain industry market leadership for our clients.”

Learning Opportunities

Appen Limited Expands to Latin America With Novatics

Appen, an AI data collection company, has announced their latest consultancy with Novatics, a human-centered software studio. Company officials said the relationship will serve to expand offerings in the Latin America region.

“We are excited about this new relationship to expand our presence in Latin America,” Mike Frame, vice president of enterprise sales at Appen, said in a statement. “This opportunity provides us with more knowledge and insight from the region and the ability to provide our expertise and platform to growing organizations.”

As a part of the agreement, Novatics will be connecting Appen with key strategic clients in the Latin America region.

“Novatics brings together strategy, design, product, and engineering to become one of the leading providers of digital services in Brazil,” Flavio Alves, founder and CEO at Novatics, said in a statement. “Our clients’ needs for developing digital products and AI based solutions are getting more sophisticated. Novatics has developed mature capabilities in these disciplines and, by combining capabilities with Appen we can offer a full-service experience for designing, development and training ML models and AI solutions.”

Related Article: Intercom Modernizes Messenger, QuestionPro Acquires SuiteCX, More News 

Visier Reveals Asset Acquisition of Boostrs

Visier, an analytics platform company, has announced its acquisition of assets of Boostrs, an API mapping engine. Company officials said the purchase will allow the integration of Boostrs data into the Visier platform to provide broader and deeper insights and benchmarks for skills across the talent lifecycle.

"Boostrs has built an incredibly powerful jobs and skills mapping engine that we're excited to make available to our customers," Ryan Wong, co-founder and CEO of Visier, said in a statement. "Adding Boostrs to Visier's technology stack gives our customers an essential linkage for closing the gap between the skills they have and the skills they need to survive and thrive in changing market landscapes."

The Boostrs technology is available now from Visier, with further expansions planned.

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