Blog header image: What You Need To Know About DAM and AI article.
Digital Asset Management

What You Need To Know About DAM and AI

July 11, 2023 12 minute read
Learn to use AI in digital asset management (DAM) to automate tasks, boost content discovery, streamline workflows, and get more out of your content today.
Blog header image: What You Need To Know About DAM and AI article.

To say artificial intelligence (AI) is a popular topic these days is quite the understatement. Just about every newsletter, industry, and organization is talking about what’s happening in the world of AI — and for good reason. AI is advancing at a rapid pace and holds a ton of potential for those who know how to harness its power in productive and thoughtful ways.

Today, we explore the role of AI in digital asset management (DAM). We’ll also take a look at how our DAM solution, Acquia DAM (Widen), uses AI to automate and streamline critical areas within the digital content lifecycle. That said, how you leverage AI in the creation and management of content matters too. You’ll need a whole new toolkit of strategies and best practices to ensure you get the most out of AI for DAM — and we’re here to help. 

Tips for managing AI-generated content with DAM

As you know, content creation is no longer a strictly human endeavor. Generative AI tools like ChatGPT and DALL-E are gaining popularity and making it easier for organizations to outsource content creation to AI technologies. But there’s a catch: When content creation changes, so must the way we manage it.  

Keep legal sensitivities in mind

AI is opening up new complexities and ambiguities to navigate with copyright and intellectual property (IP) laws. Do you need to credit AI alongside human creators? Are you responsible when AI plagiarizes copyrighted content? How does AI impact image rights and licensing? We answer questions like these in a guest CMSWire article, but our point is that the legalities around AI-generated content are complicated. When using AI, make sure you know the laws, proceed with caution, and involve a legal professional in content approval and guideline creation — which leads us to our next point.  

Update your brand guidelines

Brand guidelines support brand consistency and define a framework for how people can and cannot use your visual, verbal, and written assets. With the widespread use of AI and its evolving legal parameters, organizations must reexamine their brand guidelines and clearly define if, when, how, by whom, and in what capacity AI-generated content is approved and appropriate for use.

Create new metadata fields

When the way we produce content changes, so does the metadata we use to describe it. When leveraging AI-generated content in a DAM system, you need to create new metadata fields to ensure you can uphold your brand guidelines, mitigate legal risks, analyze performance, properly credit AI and content creators, troubleshoot issues, and more. 

Examples of AI-inspired metadata fields: 

  • Generated by: There are dozens of generative AI tools. Did DALL-E, ChatGPT, Bard, AI assistant, or another AI tool produce the asset? 
  • Prompt: What text prompt was used to generate an asset? Your intent and context matter and will become increasingly important as new laws and legislation emerge around AI. 
  • Series number: If you enter the same prompt more than once, AI tools will produce a unique asset each time. Therefore, you need an identifier to differentiate assets that came from the exact same prompt. 
  • Fact-checked (Y/N): AI isn’t always accurate. It can plagiarize, invent information, and pose other legal risks. Implementing the right checks and balances will protect your organization.
  • Contributors: Who wrote the prompt? Who created text, designs, photos, or other content that AI used to create an asset? You may need to give these people credit or use this information during an audit.


Just like with any content, you need to know if your AI-generated assets are delivering results and engaging customers in positive ways. AI is one way to reduce content production costs and accelerate workflows, but the quality is not always there. Sometimes AI creates some pretty cool content; other times, it doesn’t. 

Remember that AI can’t feel, relate, and think as strategically as a human can. Tracking and measuring how your AI-produced content performs will help you steer your content creation efforts in the right direction and determine what should be handled directly by copywriters, graphic designers, and other creatives — and what can be outsourced to AI.

Involve humans 

AI, particularly generative AI, can do a lot to make the lives of content creators, DAM administrators, and marketers easier. That said, AI is a tool — people are still needed to oversee, guide, enhance, and supplement the work that it does. AI can do some pretty cool stuff, but it can’t do it all. You need a DAM admin to keep your system organized and running smoothly. You need legal teams and marketers to review content to make sure it’s on brand, accurate, and compliant. And you need designers and writers to take on more strategic creative work and to produce emotionally meaningful, memorable content like only humans can. 

Using AI in DAM technology

In addition to all of the things AI can do to help you manage the content in your DAM system, it can also help you manage the system itself and bolster your DAM efforts. At Acquia, we’re at the forefront of these developments, offering a range of AI capabilities to help you with everything from metadata management to asset discovery, content production, and more.

Generate metadata and auto-tag assets

Metadata is the information that tells you what a file is and how it should be used. It is the foundation of a DAM platform. Without it, you would not be able to organize, find, use, or effectively manage assets within a DAM system. There are three classes of metadata — structural, administrative, and descriptive.

Structural metadata explains how content fits together. It provides information on how assets are organized and relate to each other. Examples include page numbers, chapters, collections, and product numbers. 


Administrative metadata helps with asset management and includes information like creation date, file format, and rights management data.


Descriptive metadata describes a resource for purposes of discovery and identification, and includes data like authors, subject matter, and colors. 

If you survey a group of DAM system admins, you’re bound to hear a few comments about the time and effort it takes to manage metadata. A lot of metadata is sourced from other systems or is embedded in the file itself, but there’s also a fair amount of metadata (much of it descriptive) that people need to come up with on their own. Thanks to AI capabilities focused on descriptive metadata, Acquia DAM can take on some of this metadata creation and tagging for you.  

Through an integration with leading AI-platform Clarifai, Acquia DAM can “see” an asset using image recognition AI and automatically tag it with descriptive metadata at upload. This AI capability works for any image (including layered Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator files), as well as PDFs. It creates metadata by reviewing an asset and identifying objects, subject matter, and attributes in it, including colors, demographics, emotions, categorizations (e.g., indoors versus outdoors), industries (e.g., travel or apparel), and more. 

Just remember that while AI for metadata is incredibly helpful — and allows you to work 100 times faster at 90% lower cost than manual processing — it’s still a good idea to add your own metadata enhancements and check that AI-generated metadata is accurate and true to your brand. As humanlike as AI seems, it still needs you (the actual human) to oversee, administer, check, and build upon the work it does.

Meet your unique tagging needs

No two businesses are the same, which means you may have unique language and terminology that you need to account for within your metadata. Your DAM solution should  accommodate this level of configuration. Acquia DAM approaches this in two key ways.

First, metadata automation is available in 53 different languages within Acquia DAM, allowing you to meet the unique geographical and language needs of your business — without extra work. You simply indicate the languages you need to support during the integration setup, and Acquia DAM will translate your metadata into the specified languages. 

Secondly, Acquia DAM allows you to create custom taxonomy that is specific to your business. In many cases, organizations get what they need from the pre-built Clarifai image recognition models that Acquia DAM leverages to create metadata using common concepts and general terms. But sometimes more customization is needed. In these cases, you can train custom AI models to avoid certain language and use your product names, brand terminology, and other business-specific keywords. 

Both options are valuable, but if your DAM system users are more inclined to search for an image by its product name (e.g., Schoolhouse Vintage Sconce) versus a general term (e.g., lamp), sometimes a little customization can pay off by improving asset discovery within the DAM system.

Discover other images

Think about the last time you shopped online. Based on what you looked at on a brand’s website, you were likely presented with other product recommendations to consider (yes, that is how you ended up with those glow-in-the-dark shoelaces). Acquia DAM provides a similar experience, but without the buyer's remorse. 

Let’s say you search and find an image in Acquia DAM. It’s a pretty good option, but it’s not quite what you’re looking for. Using the same image recognition AI we talked about earlier, Acquia DAM will present you with alternative image options that are similar to images you viewed. This takes pressure off your metadata, enabling discovery of images without every possible term being applied as metadata. In other words, you don’t need perfect metadata to find images — they find you!

Improve SEO

While search engine optimization (SEO) is often thought of in terms of text-based content like blogs and web pages, images also play an important role in boosting your search engine ranking and website visibility. When you leverage AI in Acquia DAM to generate and tag your assets with keyword-rich metadata, you’re improving your SEO by providing search engines with more complete and robust information. 

Support creative workflows

Much of the AI we provide in our DAM solution is made possible through Clarifai, but we also leverage ChatGPT by OpenAI to provide AI assistance within our review and proofing tool, Workflow. What this means is that anyone reviewing a proof within Workflow can ask our AI assistant a question. In seconds, they’ll get an answer that’s delivered in a conversational tone and informed by a wide range of internet data. As you can imagine, there are many applications for this.

Just think about everything that’s discussed when a team is reviewing a creative deliverable – there’s a lot. Collaboration with actual teammates remains important, but it wouldn't hurt to ask an AI assistant for a little help on copy suggestions and revisions, grammar checks, design ideas, visual thought-starters, and more. It’s like having a friendly sidekick with nothing but time to assist! 

The future of AI in Acquia DAM

As AI technology continues to advance, we grow more and more excited about the possibilities it holds for the future of Acquia DAM. In fact, we already have some pretty cool AI enhancements in the pipeline:  

  • Facial recognition for individuals who have given consent to be identified, like a company CEO or corporate thought leader.
  • Computer-assisted search to enable image discovery based on AI-detected visual themes, like color.  
  • AI-generated alt text to support your SEO and metadata automation efforts.
  • Cropping assistance to identify where to crop an image based on area of interest (aka focal object). 

Leveraging generative AI alongside DAM

As we shared, there are a bevy of ways you can leverage AI directly in your DAM solution to improve metadata strategies, boost asset discovery, support SEO, and streamline your creative workflows. That said, there’s a great big world of AI out there! You should also leverage other AI tools to get the most out of your DAM and content creation efforts. 

Here are a few ways to use standalone generative AI tools in collaboration with a DAM solution: 

  • Content creation: Outsource text- and image-based content creation to AI to free up designer time for more strategic projects and to support your teams with more content options within the DAM system. 
  • Brainstorm taxonomy. Ask AI tools for taxonomy suggestions based on a list of terms or content examples. Then use the AI-generated terms to inform or inspire your taxonomy structure in the DAM system. 
  • Metadata enhancement: Even if you leverage AI within your DAM platform to auto-generate metadata, you can still generate more metadata using other tools to add alt text, product descriptions, PDF abstracts, deeper descriptions, and more to your digital assets.
  • Personalization: Take the metadata you already have and ask AI tools to create variations in a specific voice or for targeted audiences, such as the deaf and hard of hearing community, seniors, or certain interest groups. 
  • Admin support: DAM system admins have a lot of responsibilities. Use AI to help them create or inspire training resources, survey questions, communications, and more.   

Want more ideas? Ask your favorite generative AI tool for other ways it can help you with content creation and management!  

Ready to get the most out of AI for DAM?

AI has the potential to forever change the way you create and manage your content. Knowing how to harness its power to automate time-consuming tasks, streamline your workflows, and improve the effectiveness of your content efforts is a determining factor in the success of your DAM practices. Make no mistake — AI has arrived. Are you getting the most out of it?  

To learn more about AI for DAM or to see Acquia DAM’s AI capabilities in action, schedule a live demo today.

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