Google Announces Election-Related Restrictions for Gemini

Google Announces Election-Related Restrictions for Gemini

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The rise of AI-generated content brought with it serious election-related misinformation concerns, with machine learning firm Clarity reporting that the number of generated deepfakes increased 900% every year. This has led Google to announce its new restrictions over election-related queries to its Gemini chatbot in the US and in India, in preparation for the upcoming elections.

Google’s blog post reads as follows: “Out of an abundance of caution on such an important topic, we have begun to roll out restrictions on the types of election-related queries for which Gemini will return responses. We take our responsibility for providing high-quality information for these types of queries seriously, and are continuously working to improve our protections.”

According to CNBC, this announcement comes at a time when many tech platforms are preparing for a major year full of elections worldwide, affecting more than 40 countries. Election-related misinformation has been a major problem ever since the 2016 US presidential campaigns, and lawmakers are getting increasingly concerned with the rapid rise of AI.

Methods of detecting and marking deepfakes have not advanced quickly enough to keep up with the tech itself, and even if the platforms themselves agree to include invisible watermarks and certain types of metadata, there are ways around such measures (sometimes even a simple screenshot is enough).

Google has recently been emphasizing its commitment to pursuing and investing in AI assistants (chatbots, coding assistants and other productivity tools). Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai highlighted AI agents as a priority, while chief executives at tech giants like Microsoft and Amazon have shown their increasing commitment to building AI agents as productivity tools.

Sissie Hsiao, vice president at Google and general manager for Google Assistant and Bard, has told the press that Google’s Gemini rebrand, app rollouts and feature expansions were a first step to “building a true AI assistant.”