Mushroom Cloud produced by a Nuclear Explosion in the middle of the desert, Generative AI Art

A Poisonous New Tool Is Helping Artists Fight Back Against Generative AI

Recommended Videos

In the old days, the biggest problem visual artists faced was the threat of art tracers. These tracers, as their name suggests, stole art by tracing over another artist’s work and then creating a new piece out of the existing art. But tracers have nothing on “AI Artists,” who actively steal art to “create” their own.

This is the plight of many digital artists, whose works are often used as the basis for “new” art produced by generators without their consent. These “AI Artists” are facing legal backlash, but shaming them simply isn’t enough when there are few legal protections in place to prevent them from stealing.

Meet the AI Art Prevention Tool: Nightshade

Luckily, some tech people are on the side of artists in this war waged against them by AI companies. Nightshade is a tool that many artists can use to safeguard their work by corrupting the outputs of various AI generators like Midjourney and DALL-E, among others. Nightshade is no longer just a poisonous shrub, but a defense against AI theft. It works by obscuring pixels of an image, and this confuses the AI generator. The AI generator won’t be able to accurately produce an image that was requested because Nightshade “poisons” the images by making the generator misinterpret the prompt. Ask for Barbie on skates, and you might get Ken on a skateboard instead.

Glaze Over Your Art With Glaze, an Anti-Generative AI Tool

Nightshade isn’t the only option: Artists can also go online and use Glaze. This tool is designed to protect the art style of the artist along with their art. Art styles by distinct artists are something that is often mimicked by many AI art generators. It’s not just the art that’s in danger, but also the artists themselves, since many Generative AI attempt to copy the way they create art. But with Glaze, this becomes difficult to do because it’s designed to disrupt Generative AI’s view of the image it was fed.

The future of art is not dead, and there are people in tech who stand for the human rights of artists.

(featured image: Solar Sands/YouTube)

The Mary Sue is supported by our audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a small affiliate commission. Learn more about our Affiliate Policy
Image of Vanessa Esguerra
Vanessa Esguerra
Vanessa Esguerra (She/They) has been a Contributing Writer for The Mary Sue since 2023. After graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Economy, she (happily) rejected law school in 2021 and has been a full-time content writer since. Vanessa is currently taking her Master's degree in Japanese Studies in hopes of deepening her understanding of the country's media culture in relation to pop culture, women, and queer people like herself. She speaks three languages but still manages to get lost in the subways of Tokyo with her clunky Japanese. Fueled by iced coffee brewed from local cafés in Metro Manila, she also regularly covers anime and video games while queuing for her next match in League of Legends.