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Google to combat misinformation with new image search features

In an effort to tackle the spread of misinformation, Google is introducing two new features to its image search. With the advancement of artificial intelligence (AI) tools, the creation of realistic fake images has become easier, making it imperative to address this issue.

The first feature, known as “About this image,” aims to provide users with additional context about images and their origins. It will include information on when an image was first indexed by Google, its initial appearance site, and where else it has been displayed online. By offering such details, users can trace an image back to its original source.

To ensure transparency, Google will now mark every AI-generated image created with its tools. The company is collaborating with other platforms and services to encourage them to adopt the same practice, ensuring that all AI-generated content in search results is properly identified.

Notable publishers like Midjourney and Shutterstock have already joined Google in this effort.

The authenticity of images online has become a significant concern in the era of AI. Startups are actively working on verification and authentication tools to address this issue. For instance, Truepic, backed by Microsoft, provides systems that guarantee an image has not been manipulated from capture to delivery.

Google’s latest features, though not as technologically advanced as some verification tools, are expected to have a significant positive impact when supported by the industry. These updates will be rolled out gradually throughout the year.

During Google I/O 2023, the company emphasized its commitment to AI while introducing its first foldable phone and Pixel-branded tablet. This year, Google aims to integrate AI technology into its apps, services, and Android operating system. 

Misinformation has become a global concern, and Google is taking significant steps to enhance information literacy and combat the spread of false information. The introduction of “About this image” and AI-generated image markups reflects Google’s ongoing commitment to helping users navigate the online world with confidence and accuracy. By providing context and transparency, these features empower users to assess the credibility of images found online, fostering a more informed society.

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