Glaze AI Tool Launches to Protect Artists From Art Generators

Glaze developed a tool that can “cloak” artwork and prevent AI tools from copying it.

Written by Abel Rodriguez
Published on Mar. 22, 2023
Glaze AI Tool Launches to Protect Artists From Art Generators
An image of a human face with colorful spirals coming out of the top of the head.
Image: Shutterstock

With the recent buzz about artificial intelligence, AI art generators have come under scrutiny as artists have claimed that the generators, on several occasions, copied their art. Some artists have even filed lawsuits for copyright infringement. 

A new project emerging out of the University of Chicago titled Glaze may be the answer for artists looking to protect their art and copyrights. Glaze is gaining buzz among the art and tech community having recently launched a free tool that helps artists “cloak,” or change, their artwork so AI art generators can’t copy it.

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AI art generators can be separated into two categories. Some tools create images based on text input from the user. Other tools are fed a reference photo from the user, which the generator uses to create an image in a similar style. Behind the scenes, both types of art generators are fed millions of images that they memorize and use to generate new images. 

Some opponents of the tech say because the generators are being trained on human-made artwork, the generators are copying other artists’ work and style. Several people have voiced concerns that AI art generators pose a threat to the livelihoods of artists.  

Glaze’s tool aims to help. It invasively alters an image before it is posted online. According to Glaze, the changes are not visible to the human eye, but AI generators are tricked into reading the images in a different style, making it harder for the AI tools to replicate. 

Imagine explaining Glaze's process to prevent AI from copying artists.
Glaze’s process to prevent AI from copying artists. | Image: Glaze

“The artwork still appears nearly identical to the original, while still preventing AI models from copying. We refer to these added changes as a ‘style cloak’ and changed artwork as cloaked artwork,” reads Glaze’s website.

The project, which is still in its early stages, was started by Ph.D. students and professors at the University of Chicago. As such, the project’s website states that the tools are limited and work better on some art styles than others.

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