This tool protects online images from being scraped to train generative AI

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Unveiled in the fall and now available for download, Nightshade is a tool capable of ‘fooling’ the artificial intelligence models currently used for automatic image generation. The idea is to help artists prevent their work from being misused without their knowledge or consent.


Unless specifically blocked, generative AI models can now be trained on any content found on the internet. This obviously poses a number of problems for artists and content creators who do not want their work to be used as part of the AI training process. Effective solutions to ‘trick’ these generative AI models include Nightshade.

This tool has been developed by a team of researchers at the University of Chicago, and is designed to enable artists to invisibly alter the pixels representing their work, in order to disrupt AI models that are prone to using such images without authorization in their learning process. Its creators even describe it as a veritable potential “poison pill” for these models, with serious malfunctions that could affect the training data and even render them unusable should such activity become widespread.

The models referred to are those on which the best-known image-creating AIs such as Midjourney and DALL-E are based. In practice, these images would no longer be interpreted correctly, with a dog being mistaken for a cat, a house for a cake and so on.

Ultimately, Nightshade’s aim is not to disrupt AI models, but to ensure that licensing images from their creators one day becomes the norm. The tool is now available to download from the university website.


Nightshade joins Glaze, another solution previously developed by the same researchers, which allows images to be manipulated so that they are not picked up by models trained for AI. Of course, these tools will only be effective as long as these models are unable to detect, recognize and decode these manipulations. The day that AI is powerful enough to get past them, other solutions would need to be found.

– AFP Relaxnews

– TheStar

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