Major AI makers commit to watermark their content

21 Jul 2023

Image: © Orhan Çam/

In a big win for the Biden administration’s efforts to regulate AI, seven US companies have made voluntary commitments to the White House to ensure robust AI security measures.

The White House has secured “voluntary commitments” from leading tech companies including Google, Meta and OpenAI to ensure safe and transparent development of AI technologies.

Seven major AI makers, which also includes Amazon, Anthropic, Inflection and Microsoft, will meet at the White House today (21 July) to make these commitments as world leaders grapple with the rapid rise of AI and find ways to keep it safe.

One of the major commitments is to test the safety of their AI products internally and externally before releasing them to the public, all the while remaining transparent about the process by sharing information with governments, civil society and academia.

This includes committing to “cybersecurity and insider threat safeguards” to protect proprietary and unreleased model weights and facilitating third-party discovery and reporting of vulnerabilities in their AI systems.

The companies will also commit to developing “robust” mechanisms such as watermarking to ensure users know when content is generated by AI. “This action enables creativity with AI to flourish but reduces the dangers of fraud and deception,” a White House statement reads.

Additionally, they will prioritise research on the societal risks that AI systems can pose, including on avoiding harmful bias and discrimination and protecting privacy.

“The track record of AI shows the insidiousness and prevalence of these dangers, and the companies commit to rolling out AI that mitigates them,” the statement went on.

This comes just a month after US lawmaker Chuck Schumer launched his plan for Congress to regulate the technology without hindering innovation in the space.

“AI could be our most spectacular innovation yet, a force that could ignite a new era of technological advancement, scientific discovery and industrial might,” Schumer was quoted as saying at the time.

“The first issue we must tackle is encouraging, not stifling, innovation. But if people don’t think innovation can be done safely, that will stifle AI’s development and even prevent us from moving forward.”

ChatGPT creator OpenAI said the latest White House commitments are “an important step in advancing meaningful and effective AI governance” in the US and around the world.

“Policymakers around the world are considering new laws for highly capable AI systems. Today’s commitments contribute specific and concrete practices to that ongoing discussion,” said Anna Makanju, vice-president of global affairs at OpenAI.

“This announcement is part of our ongoing collaboration with governments, civil society organisations and others around the world to advance AI governance.”

Just days ago, thousands of authors signed a letter written by the Authors Guild calling on the likes of OpenAI, Alphabet and Meta to stop using their work to train AI models without “consent, credit or compensation”.

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Vish Gain is a journalist with Silicon Republic