Canva launches new AI-powered design apps, $200-M fund to pay creators

Art Fuentes, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 04 2023 09:17 PM

Canva launches its Magic Studio suite of generative AI-powered design apps. Handout
Canva launches its Magic Studio suite of generative AI-powered design apps. Handout

MANILA - Canva has launched a new suite of AI-powered design apps and a new program where creators get paid as AI taps their designs and content. 

The company, which turned 10 this year, said its Magic Studio aims to democratize design with the “most comprehensive AI-design platform.”

Amid concerns from writers and artists about their works being used by AI developers without compensation, Canva has also launched a $200 million fund to pay creators whose works will be tapped by their platform. 


“What we've built is really an all-in-one AI platform for the 99 percent of people who are not design professionals,” said Robert Kawalsky, Head of Product of Canva in an interview with ABS-CBN News.

During the global launch of Magic Studio in Sydney, Australia, Canva co-founder and CEO Melanie Perkins said Magic Studio is “the first all-in-one suite of design AI tools created to supercharge the way teams create and scale visual content.”  

A feature of Magic Studio called Magic Media allows users to create photos with a simple prompt. They can also generate videos from a prompt or an image, powered by Runway AI. 

“The text-to-image functionality has received significant updates and now offers a wide range of style options for any result,” the company said. 

Another feature called Magic Design lets users turn a prompt or their own media into fully designed videos, presentations and more. 

“Speed up the creation process by simply entering your idea, selecting color schemes and watching complete designs come to life ready to be shared or
further customized to your liking.”

A feature called Magic Switch, meanwhile, instantly converts designs into a range of formats with one click. 

According to Canva, this lets users turn a presentation into an executive summary or create a blog post from a whiteboard of ideas, and translate it into various languages.

Aside from these features, users can also tap other generative AI design and productivity tools including Dall-E, Imagen by Google, MurfAI, Soundraw and others. 


Canva said it has also set aside “a $200 million commitment in content and AI royalties to be paid to the company’s creator community over the next three years.” 

“At the same time you also have to acknowledge that creators play this critical role in making AI possible and they should be compensated fairly for that,” Kawalsky said.

The company said creators can choose to opt out of their data being used for training purposes, but creators who consent to having their content used to train Canva’s proprietary AI models will get paid. 

“Creators who opt into training AI models on their existing content will receive an initial payment followed by monthly payment for continued use,” the company said.

Kawalsky said this is meant to address concerns from the creative community.

“We only build our proprietary AI models with licensed content and creators opt-in to the royalty program,” he added. 

Canva said that it has a thriving community of over 92,000 freelancers and creatives in the Philippines. 


The company also said it was launching an enterprise-grade collection of robust safety, privacy and security controls called Canva Shield, which includes indemnification. 

Canva Shield features automated content moderation, prompt filtering, reporting functionalities and a debiasing model ensuring safe and inclusive results. 

Kawalsky said the company has built a proprietary system to ensure that generated designs are not biased, while still balancing this with personalization.

“For enterprise customers, Canva Shield also includes indemnification, providing additional peace of mind for organizations creating content with AI,” the company said.

According to Kawalsky, Canva is aiming to further expand its services to enterprises.

He noted that Canva is already being adopted by the world's largest organizations, with over 85 percent of Fortune 500 using the platform. 

Around 141,000 teachers in the Philippines use Canva, and there are also 79,000 business owners who are Canva users. 

The company also has over 850 employees in the Philippines, spread out mostly across design, marketing, social media, growth, operations, and customer service. 


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