A few days ago, I came across Glaze, a tool that could rebalance the standoff between some artists and the artificial intelligence imitation of their own graphic style.
For some artists, one of the biggest fears is seeing their work copied, diverted, or usurped by image generation tools like MidJourney or Stable Diffusion.
This is where the Glaze project comes in. This collaboration between the University of Chicago, the SAND Lab, and professional artists like Karla Ortiz will allow artists to protect their artistic style against learning and imitation by AI models.
So how does this stuff work?
Well, let’s say you’re an artist and you want to upload your latest work. Instead of just uploading the image to your online portfolio, you can use Glaze to add edits that will be almost imperceptible to the human eye but enough to fool AI models.
Take the example of Karla Ortiz. Thanks to Glaze, she can make small changes to her works before publishing them online. So when she asks Stable Diffusion to generate “a work in the style of Karla Ortiz,” she gets an image that looks more like a mix between Van Gogh and her own style, thus protecting her art from unauthorized copying.
It’s a good start, right?
What’s really interesting about all of this is that Glaze is not only a free tool intended for research but also a first step towards artist-centric protection tools to hold your own against thieving AIs.
Of course, there is still a long way to go, especially regarding the limitations and the risks of degrading the original work. For example, there are some images that go wrong in Glaze, but the project seems to be on the right track to make the future of digital art safer for all artists.
To help you get started with Glaze, I recommend subscribing to the Glaze-announce mailing list to stay informed about updates and new features and, of course, downloading the tool (available for Mac and Windows by clicking here).
And don’t forget to take a look at the research article as it offers even more information on how this tool works. Glaze.