Google to Launch New Image Search Features to Reduce Misinformation, Flag AI-Generated Images

Google’s first new feature is called ‘About this image,’ which will serve up additional context for images.

Google to Launch New Image Search Features to Reduce Misinformation, Flag AI-Generated Images

Photo Credit: Reuters

Google’s new features will roll out over the course of this year

  • Google’s new tool will tell when and where an image first appeared
  • New features will help users pinpoint the original source
  • Midjourney and Shutterstock will work with Google over marking AI images

Google is adding two new features to its image search to reduce the spread of misinformation, especially now that artificial intelligence tools have made the creation of photorealistic fakes trivial.

The Alphabet company's first new feature is called ‘About this image,' serving up additional context like when an image or similar ones were first indexed by Google, where they first appeared and where else they've shown up online. The intent is to help users pinpoint the original source while also contextualizing an image with any debunking evidence that might have been provided by news organizations.

Google will mark every AI-generated image created by its tools as such and it's working with other platforms and services to make sure they add the same markup to the files they put out. Midjourney and Shutterstock are among the publishers Google has on board, and the goal is to ensure that all AI content that appears in search results is flagged as such.

The provenance of images online is a growing issue in the AI age, and there are several startups working to produce verification and authentication tools. Microsoft-backed Truepic, for example, offers systems that ensure an image hasn't been manipulated from capture to delivery.

Google's new features, which are rolling out over the course of this year, are comparatively lower-tech, though they may have a bigger positive impact with sufficient industry support.

© 2023 Bloomberg LP

Google I/O 2023 saw Google tell us repeatedly that it cares about AI, alongside the launch of its first foldable phone and Pixel-branded tablet. This year, the company is going to supercharge its apps, services, and Android operating system with AI technology. We discuss this and more on Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast. Orbital is available on Spotify, Gaana, JioSaavn, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music and wherever you get your podcasts.
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