Glazing Over Art: Free App Glaze Promises to Thwart Art Thieves

Since the second half of 2022, AI-enabled art generators have raised eyes across the digital world, from eager users as well as aggrieved artists whose styles were seemingly copied. After outcries from the creative community, one free app claims to be able to stop text-to-image generators from mimicking artists’ work. Glaze, a University of Chicago research project, lets artists add a cloak layer to their work which will make it harder for AI to copy their signature styles.

Become a Subscriber

Please purchase a subscription to continue reading this article.

Subscribe Now

Still in beta, Glaze applies so-called ‘style cloaks’ to artwork before it’s shared online, using nearly imperceptible “perturbations” that mislead generative models trying to mimic specific artists. Text-to-image generators have become popular for creating unique, unusual, and uncanny representations that often imitate art museum classics and modern masterpieces. However, for all its remarkable output, the technology has been coopted by startups and established companies alike—Adobe even used publicly published art to train its AI and machine learning-powered Sensei tool.

Thankfully for artists, text-to-image AI is just not that smart yet. Until these generators learn to circumvent products like Glaze, artists and corporations may be able to protect their intellectual property to some extent.