Getty Images is embracing artificial intelligence, starting with a way to help publishers pick photos. Today, the photo agency debuted a tool that uses AI to analyze a story and suggest photos that might go along with it depending on the text and content.

The tool, called Panels, uses natural language processing—a term for how computers can learn to “read” human words, phrases and sentences—to then match a story based on keywords, images, captions and other criteria. Publishers also will then have access to custom filters and a self-improving algorithm to move around keywords or select images through a more human-driven process.

Here’s how it works: When someone enters in the URL for a story or copies and pastes in the text, Panels will analyze the words before suggesting people, places and things that appear in the story after weighing different options based on frequency and relevance. According to Andrew Hamilton, senior vice president of data and insights at Getty Images, the idea is not to replace photos editors but to help increase efficiency in an increasingly fast-moving newsroom while also providing more ideas for longer feature stories.

(Panels will be free for premium subscribers to Getty Images.) To develop Panels, Getty Images and its partner Vizual.AI–a cloud-based image optimization platform—spent about six months working with a group of 20 of the largest newsrooms. The companies then created algorithms to weigh certain words, such as their frequency, recency, or whether they are known people or places. They then added caption data from Getty’s repository of 100 million photos to match that to the text.

“We’re not trying to be the editor picking that visual story you’re trying to tell here,” Hamilton said. “We’re leaving that control up to them, but it just gives them this array of choice.” On Tuesday morning in a conference room at the Getty Images headquarters in lower Manhattan, Hamilton showed how he envisions newsrooms using Panels based on the news of the day. Read more from…

thumbnail courtesy of