Google Pauses Gemini AI Image Generator After Historical Inaccuracies

Google has temporarily suspended the ability of its Gemini artificial intelligence model to generate images of people following criticism over inaccuracies in historical depictions.

Google Pauses Gemini AI Image Generator After Historical Inaccuracies

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This comes after users on social media platforms shared images generated by Gemini that featured people of color, leading to accusations of historical misrepresentation.

The controversy arose when users began posting screenshots of Gemini’s output, which included depictions of figures such as Nazi-era German soldiers and America’s Founding Fathers as people of color. The tool’s attempts to subvert racial and gender stereotypes in generative AI led to consequences.

Among the images circulated were scenes of Black and Asian soldiers wearing Nazi uniforms, as well as depictions of U.S. senators from the 1800s as Black and Native American women, erasing the historical context of race and gender discrimination.

Users criticized Google for what they perceived as overcorrection for diversity, with some accusing the tech giant of being woke to the detriment of accuracy.

Google announced that it would pause image generation feature while it works to address the issues raised.

The company acknowledged the shortcomings of the tool, stating that it missed the mark in accurately depicting historical figures and contexts.

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Google said its commitment to improving the accuracy of depictions, noting that the tool’s image generation capabilities are designed to show its global user base.

Generative AI tools, trained on vast amounts of data, have the potential to replicate biases present in the training data, leading to unintended outcomes.

Google’s decision to pause image generation feature shows the company’s recognition of the need to address these challenges and strive for more accurate and inclusive representations.

The controversy surrounding Gemini is not the first setback Google has faced in the rollout of its AI products.

Last year, the company apologized for inaccuracies in its AI chatbot Bard, and its share price dipped after a demo video showed the tool producing a factually inaccurate response.

Before pausing Gemini’s ability to produce people, Google wrote, “We’re working to improve these kinds of depictions immediately. Gemini’s Al image generation does generate a wide range of people. And that’s generally a good thing because people around the world use it. But it’s missing the mark here.”

Coinciding with a big performance and feature update, the company renamed the chatbot Gemini earlier this month as the company races to hold its ground against OpenAI’s ChatGPT and Microsoft Copilot both of which pose an existential threat to its search engine.

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