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AI: Freelance Photographers & Agency Embracing the Future

Press photo showing Cyber beyond IT leaflet to illustrate an article about Safeguarding Visual Creations: United National Photographers’ Stance on AI and Photo Protection

To ensure your images remain safe, follow our guidelines, so your photos don’t end up looking distorted, fuzzy, and washed out like the attached example, on somebody’s naff “artwork”.    Photo: © Collage by UNP 0845 600 7737 pictures@unp.co.uk
Phone(+44) 0845 600 7737 / 01943884941 / 07771765646
United National Photographers Ltd.

“Safeguarding Visual Creations: United National Photographers’ Stance on AI and Photo Protection”

United National Photographers (UNP), an organization with a deep-seated belief in the transformative power of Artificial Intelligence (AI), has shown exceptional foresight by appointing an AI Safety Officer. This strategic move comes in anticipation of the UK’s inaugural AI Safety Summit held at the historic Bletchley Park, a venue steeped in technological history.

Press photo showing Cyber beyond IT leaflet to illustrate an article about Safeguarding Visual Creations: United National Photographers’ Stance on AI and Photo Protection

Photo: © Teri Pengilley / UNP 0845 600 7737 pictures@unp.co.uk
Phone(+44) 0845 600 7737 / 01943884941 / 07771765646
United National Photographers Ltd.

Protecting photographs from AI is a complex challenge, and while the methods above offer some level of security, they are not foolproof. As we navigate this “wild west” of digital art protection, artists must stay vigilant, employing a combination of strategies to safeguard their creations. The future is uncertain, but by taking action now, artists can ensure they are prepared for whatever comes next.

In an era dominated by rapid technological advancements, the United National Photographers  is stepping up to play a pivotal role in AI safety and the protection of photographic works. With a deep understanding of the transformative power of Artificial Intelligence (AI), UNP has taken the initiative to appoint an AI Safety Officer, showcasing their dedication to responsible AI development and usage.

However, the responsibility of protecting photos does not lie with UNP alone. Photographers themselves play a crucial role in safeguarding their creative output. In this comprehensive guide, we explore the various strategies and tools at the disposal of photographers, helping them to protect their photos from being misused in AI training sets.

1. Tagging Your Photos with a Twist:

AI training sets require vast amounts of accurately labeled data to function correctly. However, with billions of images circulating the web, relying on automated systems to tag these photos becomes a necessity. Photographers can take advantage of this by intentionally mislabeling their photos. By using unrelated or incorrect tags, the photos become less usable for AI training purposes, ensuring their safety from data-hungry algorithms.

2. Staking Your Claim with Copyright Protection:

Clear and robust copyright statements serve as a photographer’s first line of defense. Copyright protection is automatically granted to photos as soon as they are captured, and photographers should explicitly forbid the use of their photos in AI datasets. With terms such as, “Any unauthorized use of the photos, including but not limited to AI training, is strictly prohibited,” photographers can set clear boundaries and take legal action if necessary.

3. The Art of Watermarking:

While watermarks might detract from the aesthetic appeal of a photo, they play a vital role in protecting photos from misuse. Larger, more complex watermarks can confuse AI algorithms, rendering the photos unusable for training purposes. Experimenting with stable diffusion images and invisible watermarks can provide an additional layer of security, tricking AI into ignoring the photos altogether.

4. Exploring Protective Techniques:

Beyond watermarking, photographers can employ a variety of techniques to protect their work. From using WordPress plugins and JavaScript to display images, to adopting the “Walled Garden” approach, these strategies add an extra layer of security, shielding photos from AI crawlers.

5. Legal Recourse and Preparedness:

In instances where preventive measures fall short, legal action becomes necessary. By establishing a strong legal framework and clear terms of use, photographers ensure they have the foundation to challenge unauthorized use of their photos.

By combining the forward-thinking stance of UNP on AI safety with proactive protective measures for photos, photographers are well-equipped to navigate the challenges of the digital age. The journey to safeguard visual creations is complex, but with diligence, awareness, and the right tools, photographers can ensure the security of their work now and in the future.

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