OpenAI recently updated its ChatGPT and DALL-E 3 applications to incorporate metadata tagging. With this new feature, images generated by these tools now carry embedded information that clearly identifies them as products of AI technology, bringing greater transparency in digital content.

Aligning efforts:

Meta, known for its vast social media network including Instagram, Facebook, and Threads, had previously announced its plan to implement a labeling system for images produced by its AI generator, Imagine. OpenAI’s alignment with Meta’s strategy is a concerted effort within the tech community to address the challenges posed by AI in content authenticity.


OpenAI’s metadata tagging feature is already operational for web users, with a commitment to expand its availability to mobile users in Q1 of 2024. In a bid to facilitate the verification of AI-generated images, OpenAI introduced a tool on the Content Credentials website, designed for users to upload images and determine whether they have been produced by AI.

How C2PA is combating misinformation

Coalition for Content Provenance and Authenticity (C2PA) is a collaborative initiative among leading organizations such as Adobe, ARM, Intel, Microsoft, and The New York Times. Their collective mission focuses on the development of standards that can authenticate the source and history of media content. 

Since inception in February 2021, C2PA has dedicated itself to crafting technical standards that certify the origins and historical data of media content. With disinformation and content fraud posing persistent threats to the integrity of digital media, C2PA’s standards are designed to offer a method of verification that can bolster confidence in the authenticity of content circulating online. Through the establishment of such standards, C2PA seeks to mitigate the risks associated with the dissemination of false or misleading information.

The introduction of metadata tagging by OpenAI in its ChatGPT and DALL-E 3 applications is a forward-thinking approach to content verification. Despite this innovation, the acknowledgment by OpenAI that metadata can be tampered with or removed altogether shows a serious issue in recent digital marketing. Given the ease with which digital information can be altered, the reliability of metadata as a sole verifier of authenticity is compromised. This situation details the necessity for multi-faceted approaches to content verification, combining technology, policy, and user education to create a more secure digital environment.

Immediate implementation and future plans

Web and mobile implementation:

The immediate availability of the metadata tagging feature for web users shows OpenAI’s rapid response to growing concerns over AI-generated content. The subsequent extension to mobile users reflects an understanding of the diverse ways in which digital content is consumed today. As mobile devices increasingly become the primary means of internet access for many users worldwide, ensuring this feature’s availability across platforms is essential for widespread efficacy.

Content verification tool:

The launch of a content verification tool on the Content Credentials website is a practical step towards empowering users to discern the origins of the images they encounter. This tool, however, is limited to images generated after the update, highlighting a gap in the verification of historical content. As AI-generated images become more prevalent, tools and technologies that can verify the authenticity of both new and existing digital content will be critical in maintaining trust and integrity in digital media.

The broader context of AI’s impact on society

The misuse of AI-generated content, exemplified by deepfakes and financial scams, has illuminated the darker side of AI advancements. The $25 million fraud case serves as a stark reminder of the financial and ethical risks posed by sophisticated AI technologies. Nonconsensual explicit content, created and distributed without individuals’ consent, further highlights the urgent need for effective governance and ethical guidelines in AI development and use.

The call for standards like C2PA in the face of these challenges is more than a technical necessity; it is a moral imperative. Establishing and adhering to robust standards for content provenance and authenticity is crucial in safeguarding against the misuse of AI technologies. As AI continues to evolve, the development of such standards must keep pace, ensuring they are adaptable to new threats and capable of providing a reliable means of content verification.

Meta’s Public-Facing Watermark

Meta’s introduction of a public-facing watermark, symbolized by a sparkles emoji, represents an innovative approach to AI content labeling. This method prioritizes user experience, making it straightforward for viewers to identify AI-generated content at a glance. Such an approach increases transparency while raising public awareness about the prevalence of AI-generated content, contributing to a more informed digital citizenry.

The anticipation surrounding Meta’s rollout of its AI labeling scheme, despite still being in the design phase, clearly shows the industry’s recognition of the importance of such measures. By relying on established standards like C2PA and the IPTC Photo Metadata Standard, Meta is putting itself as a leader in the responsible deployment of AI technologies. The success of this initiative could set a precedent for other tech companies, encouraging a broader adoption of transparent and user-friendly content labeling practices across the digital landscape.

Alexander Procter

February 26, 2024

4 Min