In order to stop the spread of false information, especially now that photorealistic fakes are so easy to make thanks to artificial intelligence capabilities, Google is introducing two new features to its picture search.
The first new feature from the Alphabet business is called “About this image,” and it provides more information by indicating when an image or ones that are similar to it were originally indexed by Google, where they first appeared, and other places they have appeared online. The purpose is to assist users in identifying the original source while contextualizing an image with any discrediting information that may have been supplied by news organizations.
Every AI-generated image produced by Google’s tools will be marked as such, and the company is collaborating with other platforms and services to ensure that the markup is included in the files they distribute. Among the publishers Google has on board are Midjourney and Shutterstock, and the objective is to make sure that every AI material that appears in search results is tagged as such.
In the age of AI, the provenance of online photos is a rising problem, and several businesses are developing solutions for verification and authentication. For instance, Truepic, which is supported by Microsoft, provides mechanisms that guarantee an image hasn’t been altered from capture to delivery.
Google’s new features, which are rolling out over the course of this year, are comparatively lower-tech, though they may have a bigger positive impact with sufficient industry support.