Microsoft has started watermarking images generated by its Bing Image Creator tool. The watermark, which is a small Bing icon, appears at the bottom of the image and indicates that it was created using Bing Image Creator. You can see an example of this in the image I generated with Bing above.
The addition of the watermark is intended to help users identify AI-generated content. AI-generated images are becoming increasingly realistic, and it can be difficult to tell them apart from human-made images.
The watermark will help users to know that an image was created using AI, and to give credit to Microsoft for its creation. Microsoft initially announced the plan to add a watermark at its Build 2023 conference last month.
Microsoft has said that it is committed to transparency and accountability in the use of AI. The watermarking of Bing Image Creator generated images is one way that Microsoft is working to ensure that users are aware of the origins of AI-generated content.
Why Microsoft is Watermarking AI-Generated Images
There are several benefits to watermarking AI-generated images. First, it can help to prevent plagiarism. When an image is watermarked, it is clear that the image was created by a particular person or organization. This can help to deter people from stealing or reusing the image without permission.
Second, watermarking can help to improve the discoverability of AI-generated images. When an image is watermarked, it can be indexed by search engines. This means that people who are searching for images that match the watermark can easily find the image.
Third, watermarking can help to protect the intellectual property of AI-generated images. When an image is watermarked, it is clear who owns the copyright to the image. This can help to protect the image from being used without permission.
Microsoft Clamping Down as Regulators Circle
Microsoft's decision to watermark its AI-generated images comes as regulators are pushing tech companies to create safe AI models. This week, the European Union parliament voted in the Bloc's AI Act, which will govern AI development. If you are unfamiliar with the European AI Act, a piece of legislation aimed at regulating the use of artificial intelligence (AI).
The Act aims to protect people from systems that pose a serious threat, such as tools that can predict crimes or assign social scores. It also introduces new rules for “high-risk AI”, including systems that can sway voters or harm people's health. The legislation also defines new standards for generative AI, requiring content created by systems like ChatGPT from OpenAI, Microsoft Bing´s AI-powered chat and search or Google´s AI search and AI Chatbot Bard to be marked.
Additionally, it requires models to disclose summaries of copyrighted data used for training. This could be a major hurdle for systems that generate realistic speech by collecting text from the internet, often from sources that have copyright symbols.
Part of the act involves the EU potentially forcing companies to label all AI content. Online platforms have to take action to stop harmful content online, according to the EU's Digital Services Act (DSA). This includes content that is created by artificial intelligence systems, such as deepfakes, synthetic media, and other types of fake content. The DSA defines AI-generated content as “content that is generated by an artificial intelligence system, including but not limited to deepfakes, synthetic media, and other forms of synthetic content.”
The DSA requires online platforms to prevent the spread of AI-generated content that could cause serious harm, such as “causing physical or psychological harm,” “damaging the reputation of an individual or organization,” or “interfering with an election.” Google and Facebook have said they will follow the DSA. However, they are also worried that the DSA could limit innovation.
Generative AI from Bing Image Creator
Microsoft has recently launched Bing Image Creator, a web-based tool that uses artificial intelligence to generate images based on text inputs. The tool is available inside Bing Chat, Microsoft's new GPT-4 based AI search engine, and also as a stand-alone site.
The tool can create images based on simple words or phrases, such as animals, objects, landscapes, or abstract concepts. However, the tool also has some limitations and restrictions. For example, it refused to make an image based on the word “Bing” when it was first released.
Image Creator launched in March as an image-search accompaniment for Bing Chat. It is powered by OpenAI and Microsoft's DALL-E image processing natural language AI model. Earlier this month, Microsoft brought “Precise” and “Balanced” mode to the tool.
Bing Image Creator has become more versatile and fun with its latest update. Now, you can create AI art in any chat mode you prefer: Creative, Precise, or Balanced. Whether you want to explore more imaginative and flexible possibilities, or stick to the exact description you provide, Bing Image Creator can deliver the image output that suits your needs.