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MIT’s “PhotoGuard” Protects Images From Unauthorized AI Edits

The technology invisibly alters select pixels to throw off algorithmic AI models.

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mit's photoguard protects images from unauthorized ai edits
MIT CSAIL

As AI continues to develop rapidly, chatbots are gaining the power to create and manipulate images, with Shutterstock and Adobe currently leading the way. Despite the obvious power of AI algorithms, the technology has a few pitfalls, one of which is the unauthorized manipulation of copyrighted artwork and images.

MIT CSAIL thinks it has the answer to this growing problem in the form of PhotoGuard, a new technique that alters select pixels in an image to disrupt AI’s ability to understand what the image is.

The altered pixels are known as “perturbations” and are invisible to the human eye but easily seen by AI bots as they scan the color and position of every pixel in an image. Any edits AI tries to make to a protected image will also apply to the fake pixels, resulting in an unrealistic or broken final image, thanks to PhotoGuard.

Also Read: PicSo Review: A Popular AI-Based Text-To-Image App

“The encoder attack makes the model think that the input image is some other image,” explained MIT student and lead author of the paper, Hadi Salman. “Whereas the diffusion attack forces the diffusion model to make edits towards some target image”. The technique sounds complex but could potentially stop malicious actors from reverse engineering protected images by adding minor edits to circumvent copyright.

“A collaborative approach involving model developers, social media platforms, and policymakers presents a robust defense against unauthorized image manipulation. Working on this pressing issue is of paramount importance today,” Salman said in a recent press release. “And while I am glad to contribute towards this solution, much work is needed to make this protection practical. Companies that develop these models need to invest in engineering robust immunizations against the possible threats posed by these AI tools”.

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Initial Trials Of Dubai’s Driverless Evocargo Trucks Completed

Testing was announced on July 17, and the completion is a major milestone towards upgrading the region’s logistics infrastructure.

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initial trials of dubai's driverless evocargo trucks completed
Dubai Media Office

A Dubai-based company has completed the initial trials for the UAE’s first driverless trucks. The groundbreaking achievement by Evocargo, partnering with Dubai South, took place at Dubai South Logistics District, and marked a significant step towards incorporating autonomous technologies into the region’s wider logistics infrastructure.

Announced on Wednesday, July 17th, the trials featured the Evocargo N1 unmanned electric truck navigating a predetermined route within a controlled setting. The test involved interactions with common road obstacles such as cars, trucks, and pedestrians, aiming to evaluate the vehicle’s hardware and software reliability, accident prevention systems, and overall readiness for public road use.

Officials were keen to highlight that this accomplishment aligns with the UAE’s ambitious strategy to position itself as a global leader in innovation and technology adoption. The country aims to have 25% of all transportation in Dubai autonomous by 2030, underscoring its commitment to revolutionizing the logistics sector using advanced technologies.

Mohsen Ahmad, CEO of the Logistics District at Dubai South, emphasized the importance of the collaboration with Evocargo in enhancing the region’s logistics capabilities. He noted that autonomous vehicles are set to increase efficiency, reduce carbon emissions, and establish a sustainable logistics infrastructure that will benefit both Dubai and the wider UAE.

Also Read: Riyadh Developers Reveal New 45,000-Seat Murabba Stadium

Ahmed Al-Ansi, CEO of Evocargo Autonomous Logistic Services, also expressed optimism that the trials will draw new customers and investments across the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries. The partnership aims to lead in innovative tech solutions, further establishing the UAE as a pioneer in autonomous transportation.

The successful completion of the trials marks a crucial step towards realizing the UAE’s vision for a technologically advanced and sustainable future in which autonomous vehicles are expected to play a pivotal role in global logistics.

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