Google DeepMind Introduces SynthID to Combat Deepfakes and AI-Generated Imagery

Google DeepMind has unveiled SynthID, a watermarking technology aimed at identifying AI-generated images. The tool embeds an “imperceptible” watermark into the pixels of images generated by AI, making them easily identifiable by specialized detection tools. The technology is initially available to Google Cloud customers using the Vertex AI platform and the Imagen image generator.

As the 2024 election season looms in the U.S. and the U.K., the issue of deepfakes and AI-generated content has gained heightened attention. Google DeepMind’s CEO, Demis Hassabis, emphasized the increasing importance of systems that can identify and detect AI-generated imagery. “Every time we talk about it and other systems, it’s, ‘What about the problem of deepfakes?’” Hassabis said in an interview with The Verge on August 29, 2023.

How SynthID Works

SynthID works by embedding a watermark directly into the pixels of an AI-generated image. According to Hassabis, this watermark is “

robust to various transformations — cropping, resizing, all of the things that you might do to try and get around normal, traditional, simple watermarks.

The watermark does not alter the quality or the experience of the image but makes it easily detectable by DeepMind’s tools.

Availability and Future Plans

Initially, SynthID is being rolled out to a limited number of Vertex AI customers using Imagen, one of DeepMind’s latest text-to-image models. The technology was developed in collaboration with Google Research and is part of Google Cloud’s broader strategy to offer tools for creating AI-generated images responsibly.

Thomas Kurian, Google Cloud’s CEO, noted that the Vertex AI platform is experiencing rapid growth, making it an opportune time to launch SynthID. “The models are getting more and more sophisticated, and we’ve had a huge, huge ramp in the number of people using the models,” Kurian said.

Broader Implications

While SynthID is not the first tool designed to combat deepfakes, it joins a growing list of initiatives from major tech companies like Meta, Microsoft, and Amazon. These companies are increasingly investing in content verification solutions to maintain digital integrity. However, SynthID is not a “silver bullet to the deepfake problem,” according to Hassabis. The technology is still in its beta phase, and Google plans to refine it based on real-world testing and user feedback.

Image source: Shutterstock


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Breaking: Tech Giants Unite – OpenAI, Anthropic, Google, DeepMind, and Microsoft Launch Frontier Model Forum for Safer AI Development

OpenAI, in collaboration with Anthropic, Google, DeepMind, and Microsoft, announced the formation of the Frontier Model Forum on July 26, 2023. This new industry body aims to ensure the safe and responsible development of future hyperscale AI models.

The Frontier Model Forum is a response to the shared understanding among governments and industry that, while AI holds tremendous promise for global benefit, it also necessitates appropriate safeguards to mitigate potential risks. This initiative builds upon the efforts already made by the US and UK governments, the European Union, the OECD, and the G7 through the Hiroshima AI process, among others.

The Forum will focus on three key areas over the coming year:

  1. Identifying best practices: The Forum aims to promote knowledge sharing and best practices among industry, governments, civil society, and academia, particularly focusing on safety standards and practices to mitigate a wide range of potential AI risks.
  2. Advancing AI safety research: The Forum will support the AI safety ecosystem by identifying crucial open research questions on AI safety. It will coordinate research to advance efforts in areas such as adversarial robustness, mechanistic interpretability, scalable oversight, independent research access, emergent behaviors, and anomaly detection. An initial focus will be on developing and sharing a public library of technical evaluations and benchmarks for frontier AI models.
  3. Facilitating information sharing among companies and governments: The Forum plans to establish trusted, secure mechanisms for sharing information among companies, governments, and relevant stakeholders regarding AI safety and risks, following best practices in responsible disclosure from areas such as cybersecurity.

Kent Walker, President of Global Affairs at Google & Alphabet, expressed his excitement about working together with other leading companies, sharing technical expertise to promote responsible AI innovation.

Brad Smith, Vice Chair & President at Microsoft, emphasized that companies creating AI technology have a responsibility to ensure that it is safe, secure, and remains under human control.

Anna Makanju, Vice President of Global Affairs at OpenAI, stressed the importance of oversight and governance in AI development.

Dario Amodei, CEO at Anthropic, highlighted the potential of AI to fundamentally change how the world works and the vital role of the Frontier Model Forum in coordinating best practices and sharing research on frontier AI safety.

The Frontier Model Forum represents a significant step in the tech sector’s collective effort to advance AI responsibly, addressing challenges so that AI benefits all of humanity.

Image source: Shutterstock


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Google Merges Teams to Form Google Deepmind for AI Breakthroughs

Google has announced the formation of a new business unit, Google DeepMind, aimed at advancing the development of artificial intelligence (AI) in a safe and responsible manner. The unit is the result of a merger between Google’s Brain team and London-based AI company DeepMind, which Google acquired in 2014.

According to Google and Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai, the merger is intended to “significantly accelerate our progress in AI.” By combining Google’s AI talent into one focused team, Pichai hopes to create breakthroughs and products that can shape the future of AI.

To achieve this goal, Pichai has appointed Chief Scientist Jeff Dean to lead the development of powerful, multimodal AI models. Dean, who will report directly to Pichai, has been tasked with building a team that can accelerate the company’s progress in AI and create products that are both safe and responsible.

The new business unit, Google DeepMind, will focus on developing AI technologies that can be applied to a wide range of industries, from healthcare and finance to transportation and communication. This includes developing algorithms that can improve the accuracy of medical diagnoses, predicting stock prices with greater accuracy, and enhancing the capabilities of self-driving cars.

One of the key challenges in AI development is ensuring that the technology is used in a safe and responsible manner. This includes ensuring that AI models are not biased or discriminatory and that they are transparent and explainable. Google DeepMind will be dedicated to developing AI technologies that are both safe and transparent, with the goal of promoting the responsible use of AI across industries.

In addition to developing new AI breakthroughs and products, Google DeepMind will also focus on training the next generation of AI experts. This includes partnering with universities and research institutions to provide training and education in AI technologies.

The formation of Google DeepMind is part of Google’s broader strategy to become a leader in AI development. The company has been investing heavily in AI research and development over the past decade, and has already made significant breakthroughs in areas such as natural language processing and computer vision.

By creating a dedicated business unit for AI development, Google hopes to accelerate its progress in this field and create breakthroughs and products that can have a significant impact on society. With Jeff Dean at the helm, Google DeepMind is poised to become a leading force in AI development and shape the future of the industry for years to come.


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