Snapchat to Watermark AI-Generated Images

In the latest move to respond to the influx of visuals created using artificial intelligence, social media app Snapchat announced it would add a watermark to such images.

“[The watermark] will appear on images created with Snap’s generative AI tools when the image is exported or saved to camera roll,” a release announcing the news read. “Recipients of an AI-generated image made on Snapchat may see a small ghost logo with the widely recognized sparkle icon beside it. The addition of these watermarks will help inform those viewing it that the image was made with AI on Snapchat.

Snapchat, like other companies, has recently rolled out AI-powered tools for paying subscribers to alter or enhance images, even ones that aren’t entirely AI-generated. These will also receive a watermark denoting such editing.

An example of an image with Snapchat's AI watermark.

“We use contextual icons, symbols, and labels in-app to provide contextual transparency to Snapchatters when they’re interacting with a feature that is powered by AI technology,” the release reads. “For example, when a Snapchatter shares an AI-generated Dreams image, the recipient sees a context card with more information. Other features, like the extend tool which leverages AI to make a Snap appear more zoomed out, are demarcated as an AI feature with a sparkle icon for the Snapchatter creating the Snap.”

This watermark appears more immediately recognizable than others. For example, Google and Dall-E announced watermarks for AI-generated images that would not affect the appearance. Instead, the watermark is tucked within the metadata.

Similarly, Instagram and Facebook owner Meta announced in February it would begin labeling AI-generated images on its platforms. However, Meta isn’t just targeting images created with its own AI image model, instead also detecting AI-generated images wholesale.

Snapchat, and Meta when it announced AI image labeling, addressed political transparency concerns, a major issue with the U.S.’s next presidential election looming nearer and nearer.

“We also take great care to vet all political ads through a rigorous human review process, including a thorough check for any misleading use of content, including AI to create deceptive images or content,” Snap noted in its release.

Image credits: Header photo licensed via Depositphotos.


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