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This work-in-progress artist-centric protection tool protects your art from AI mimicry

In a creative collaboration between members of the professional artist community, including San Francisco-based illustrator Karla Ortiz and the University of Chicago SAND Lab led by Faculty head Ben Zhao, an application was developed to protect art from being learned and mimicked by AI-art models like Stable Diffusion and MidJourney: meet Glaze, a cutting-edge tool that hinders AI from copying authentic styles of real artists.

The Glaze team consists of nine members, the researchers namely Shawn Shan, Emily, Wenger, Heather Zheng, Jenna Cryan, Rana Hanocka, Professor Ben Zhao, and artist collaborators Karla Ortiz, Nathan Fowkes, and Lyndsey Gallant. This pool of researchers, professors, and illustrators is interested in exploring safety methods to save real artists from the fear of the invasive use of artificial intelligence without the thought of profit or political agenda, as artists can use this tool for free upon release.

In showing how Glaze works, Ortiz’s artwork in her online portfolio was used as a subject of the presentation. To protect her art style from being taken by AI companies, the tool added some minimal changes, which were barely visible to the human eye, to her original artwork before it was posted online. These added changes are known as “style cloak,” while modified artwork is referred to as “cloaked artwork.”

However, Glaze is only a temporary solution to AI mimicry due to AI’s continuous development. Glaze still faces problems due to future countermeasures. According to the website’s description, Glaze is not a “panacea” but an initial step towards artist-centric protection tools to resist AI duplication that needs further enhancements to produce a permanent version. Despite the downsides, Glaze was designed to be as “robust as possible” to protect many artists and their styles from any form of replication.

In March, Glaze Beta 3 was introduced to the public and became available for download via Windows or Mac. Ten weeks after the initial release, the tool hits roughly 721,000 downloads. If you are interested in more details and updates on the application release, you can join the Glaze-announce mailing list on their website.


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