Google DeepMind has launched a watermarking tool for AI-generated images

Previously 12 months, the massive recognition of generative AI fashions has additionally introduced with it the proliferation of AI-generated deepfakes, nonconsensual porn, and copyright infringements. Watermarking—a method the place you disguise a sign in a chunk of textual content or a picture to establish it as AI-generated—has grow to be probably the most in style concepts proposed to curb such harms. 

In July, the White Home introduced it had secured voluntary commitments from main AI firms corresponding to OpenAI, Google, and Meta to develop watermarking instruments in an effort to fight misinformation and misuse of AI-generated content material. 

At Google’s annual convention I/O in Could, CEO Sundar Pichai mentioned the corporate is constructing its fashions to incorporate watermarking and different strategies from the beginning. Google DeepMind is now the primary Large Tech firm to publicly launch such a device.

Historically photographs have been watermarked by including a visual overlay onto them, or including data into their metadata. However this technique is “brittle” and the watermark could be misplaced when photographs are cropped, resized, or edited, says Pushmeet Kohli, vp of analysis at Google DeepMind.

SynthID is created utilizing two neural networks. One takes the unique picture and produces one other picture that appears virtually similar to it, however with some pixels subtly modified. This creates an embedded sample that’s invisible to the human eye. The second neural community can spot the sample and can inform customers whether or not it detects a watermark, suspects the picture has a watermark, or finds that it doesn’t have a watermark. Kohli mentioned SynthID is designed in a approach which means the watermark can nonetheless be detected even when the picture is screenshotted or edited—for instance, by rotating or resizing it. 

Google DeepMind just isn’t the one one engaged on these types of watermarking strategies,  says Ben Zhao, a professor on the College of Chicago, who has labored on techniques to stop artists’ photographs from being scraped by AI techniques. Related strategies exist already and are used within the open-source AI picture generator Steady Diffusion. Meta has additionally performed analysis on watermarks, though it has but to launch any public watermarking instruments. 

Kohli claims Google DeepMind’s watermark is extra immune to tampering than earlier makes an attempt to create watermarks for photographs, though nonetheless not completely immune.  

However Zhao is skeptical. “There are few or no watermarks which have confirmed strong over time,” he says. Early work on watermarks for textual content has discovered that they’re simply damaged, often inside just a few months. 

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