In response to growing political pressure for labeling AI-generated content, Google DeepMind has unveiled SynthID, a groundbreaking watermarking technology for AI-generated images.
SynthID embeds an invisible watermark directly into images created by Imagen, one of Google's latest text-to-image generators. This innovative tool aims to bring transparency to AI art and ensure authenticity, making it impossible to remove or edit the watermark. As governments and companies increasingly demand tools to identify AI-created images, SynthID represents a significant step forward in digital watermarking and AI content regulation
What is Google Watermark?
Google Watermark, developed by Google's DeepMind unit, is a new method for invisibly and permanently labeling AI-generated images. This technology, called SynthID, embeds a digital watermark directly into the pixels of an image, making it undetectable to the human eye but detectable for identification by other tools. SynthID is being released to a limited number of Vertex AI customers.
Digital watermarks are premium markers that embed in noise-tolerant signals such as audio, video, or image data. They are typically used to identify ownership of the copyright of such signals and verify the authenticity or integrity of the carrier signal or to show the identity of its owners. Watermarking is profitable because it helps protect intellectual property, trace copyright infringements, and authenticate content.
Digital watermarks can be simple or more advanced, like SynthID watermarks. Simple watermarks are visible marks or code embedded into digital data (videos, pictures, or even audio). And when we talk about the SynthID watermarks, they are invisible and embedded directly into the pixels of an image, making them more secure and harder to remove.
The use of digital watermarks in AI-generated content is becoming increasingly important due to the rapid evolution of generative AI technologies and the extreme use of AI-generated deepfakes. Watermarking AI-generated images can help prevent the spread of misinformation and ensure transparency in the tech industry.
Moreover, tech companies like Google are making voluntary commitments to watermark AI-generated images and videos to promote responsible use of artificial intelligence.
How does Google Watermark, SynthID work?
The SynthID watermark, developed by Google DeepMind, is a tool for AI image verification. It embeds a digital watermark directly into the pixels of AI-generated images, making it untraceable to the human eye but clearly detectable for identification purposes. SynthID is being released to a limited number of Vertex AI customers using Imagen, one of Google's latest text-to-image models that use input text to create photorealistic images.
SynthID uses two deep learning models, one for watermarking and another for identifying, which are trained together on a diverse set of images. The combined model is optimized on a range of objectives, including correctly identifying watermarked content and improving imperceptibility by visually aligning the watermark to the original content. This technology was developed by Google DeepMind and refined in partnership with Google Research.
The use of SynthID watermarking in AI-generated content is essential for promoting trust in information and addressing the problem of misinformation. SynthID also ensures that the watermark remains detectable even after a number of modifications. The watermark stays even after filters are applied, colors have been changed, and also after saving with a number of lossy compression schemes. This makes it a promising technical solution for AI safety and responsible use of AI-generated content.
How to add Watermark in Google Docs?
Adding a watermark to your Google Docs is simple and can be achieved with ease.
- Open a Google Doc on your computer
- Go to insert watermark
- Choose whether you want to add an image or a text watermark
If you wish to add an image as a watermark, you will have to select the image. This image can be chosen from your computer Google Drive, Google Photos, or a URL or you can even add an image using your camera.
And if you choose to have a text as your watermark, all you have to do is type the text you want to have as your watermark.
Edit or Delete your watermark in Google Docs
- Open a document that has a watermark, on your computer
- Go to Insert and select Watermark
In the panel on the right, you can make changes to your watermark. Here you can choose to change the image or text, or adjust the settings.
- Click ‘Done' to save your changes
- To delete your watermark, click on ‘Remove' watermark at the bottom of the panel on the right.
Deepfakes and altered photographs
Deepfakes and altered photographs have impacted the image and artwork industry, on a large scale. This has posed various threats and challenges, for everyone available on the internet.
Talking more about it, Deepfakes can be used to create false or misleading content, which can harm individuals or groups and also influence public opinion. Now coming to the second most dangerous threat, which is the use of altered images. Such images can invade people's privacy by manipulating their appearance or placing them in fabricated situations without their consent.
Deepfakes can be used to create defamatory content, potentially harming the reputation of individuals or organizations. The technology can be used to impersonate real people, leading to potential fraud and security risks. The manipulation of images, particularly in the fashion and advertising industries, has been accused of promoting distorted and unrealistic self-images, especially among younger people.
Also, the unauthorized use and manipulation of copyrighted images can lead to economic damage for photographers and artists. The increasing prevalence of deepfakes and manipulated images can undermine the credibility of photographs as a reliable source of information.
There are a lot of legal risks as well. The companies using such images may face increased legal risks due to affected consumers seeking damages and compensation for the use of deepfakes and altered images.
To get over these threats, photographers, artists, and the industry as a whole must be aware of the potential dangers and use deepfake technology and image manipulation responsibly, ensuring that it enhances their work rather than detracts from it. Also, some efforts should be made to develop and implement deepfake detection tools and establish ethical guidelines for the use of such technologies.
Tracking content provenance
Tracking content origin refers to the process of tracing and verifying the tool used to generate the image or content, its history, and also the quality of digital content. This is essential for ensuring data integrity, reliability, and trustworthiness in various industries and applications, such as journalism, research, and digital media. Technologies like the Coalition for Content Provenance and Authenticity (C2PA) have been developed to address the issue of misleading information online by creating technical standards for certifying the source and history of media content.
Benefits of tracking content provenance include improved trust in digital content by verifying its origin and history, detection and prevention of misinformation and disinformation, enhanced collaboration and reproducibility in research and analysis, easier tracking of errors, inaccuracies, and fraud, leading to better data analytics outcomes, and also improved data security by maintaining precise records of all actions taken on a system.
Google Watermark feature and its future
Google Watermark, specifically SynthID, is a digital watermarking tool developed by Google's DeepMind and Google Cloud to invisibly and permanently label AI-generated images. This technology helps protect intellectual property, trace copyright infringements, and authenticate content, making it profitable for marking photos with text or image watermarks. The use of digital watermarks in the AI-generated content is essential for promoting transparency and responsible use of artificial intelligence in the tech industry.
Google watermark feature, allows users to insert text or image watermarks in Google Docs. While this feature can help protect the visual content of a document by making it harder to reuse without permission, it does not directly address the issue of content provenance. The watermark feature in Google Docs is more focused on protecting the visual appearance of a document rather than providing a comprehensive solution for tracking the origin and history of the content.