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Google shelved its Gemini AI image app after it tried to rewrite history
By Jurgen Gravestein  |  Mar 25, 2024
Google shelved its Gemini AI image app after it tried to rewrite history
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Google put the brakes on its Gemini AI image tool for generating “inaccurate images of historical figures.” An attempt to avoid reproducing toxic stereotypes - a common issue with image generation tools - led Gemini to commit the even worse offense of writing revisionist history.


An extended version of this article first appeared here.

Google found itself in hot water again quite recently - this time because of Gemini, its own AI image generation tool that it was forced to halt due to “inaccuracies in some historical image generation depictions” - as the company’s communications department rather euphemistically described it on X (née Twitter).

What really happened? As part of an attempt to avoid perpetuating harmful stereotypes, Gemini had been instructed to inject diversity into virtually any image it produced with people in it. This ‘diversity prompt’ was added to users’ requests in the background so they would only see the outcomes.

Examples shared on social media were legion: African and woman popes, Vikings of Indian descent, Black British royalty, and others. By trying to avoid propagating negative ethnic and gender overgeneralizations, Gemini ended up doing even worse by effectively trying to rewrite history.

Good intentions, poor execution

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