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Adobe’s new terms of service aren’t the problem — it’s the trust

A trippy graphic displaying a collection of items like paintbrushes, books, phone messages, and a notepad to represent generative AI. A large pair of eyes and hands can be seen at the center of the image.
Creatives are fearful of how Adobe’s adoption of generative AI will impact their privacy and rights over their work. | Illustration by Haein Jeong / The Verge

A recent notification from Adobe about a terms of service update caused outrage online once many people — forced to accept the new terms for continued access to its apps and services — interpreted it to mean Adobe was permitting itself free rein to access and use their work to train AI models.

Specifically, the notification said Adobe had “clarified that we may access your content through both automated and manual methods” within its TOS, directing users to a section that says “techniques such as machine learning” may be used to analyze content to improve services, software, and user experiences. The update went viral after creatives took Adobe’s vague language to mean that it would use their work to train Firefly — the company’s…

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