Google rolls out new feature to fact-check AI-generated images; Aims to stop misinformation online

The widespread use of images and videos across social media platforms has played a big role in spreading false information and misinformation. And ever since generative AI has come to foray, the problem has gotten even worse, due to realistic AI-generated images. In response to this challenge, Google is taking a significant step by introducing a suite of tools aimed at providing users with better contextual information about images, thus curbing the spread of inaccurate content.

Image History and Context

These newly unveiled tools encompass a variety of features, including the ability to access an image’s history, its metadata, and the context in which it has been used on different websites through Google Images. Google had previously introduced these features under the banner of “About this image,” and it is now making them available to English-language users worldwide.

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One key feature allows users to ascertain when an image was first detected by Google Search, providing crucial insights into the recency of the context in which it appeared. Additionally, these tools enable users to explore how others have described the image on various platforms, a valuable resource in debunking false claims. Google has also taken a significant step in marking AI-generated images by including metadata fields to indicate their origin. In an effort to standardize this practice, Adobe, alongside tech giants like Microsoft, Nikon, and Leica, introduced a symbol in October to clearly identify AI-generated images.

Effortless Access to Image Verification Tools

To access these new image verification tools, users can simply click the three-dot menu within Google Images search results. Alternatively, they can access them by clicking the “more about this page” option found in the “About this result” tool, which is accessible through the three-dot menu. Google is actively exploring additional avenues for users to access these tools, making image fact-checking more accessible and efficient.

Facilitating Fact-Checkers and Journalists

In another noteworthy development, Google has extended its support to approved journalists and fact-checkers. These individuals can now upload or copy image URLs into their own tools using the FaceCheck Claim Search API. This move builds upon Google’s June initiative, where it tested features with the Fact Check Explorer tool, granting fact-checkers the ability to delve deeper into fact-checks, references, and other pertinent information linked to specific images.

Furthermore, the company is embracing the potential of generative AI to aid in the description of sources, especially for less recognized websites or unfamiliar blogs. For users who have opted in to utilize the Search Generative Experience (SGE), AI-generated information about these sources will now be visible in the “more about this page section.” This generated information will also include citations from other “high-quality” websites, with Google’s AI stepping in when no details or overview from Wikipedia or the Google Knowledge Graph are available.

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