Google is introducing two new features to its image search in order to combat the spread of misinformation, especially with the increasing ease of creating photorealistic fake images using artificial intelligence.
The first feature, called ‘About this image,’ provides users with additional context about an image, including when it was first indexed by Google, its original source, and its appearances across the internet.
This aims to help users identify the original source of an image and provide any debunking evidence from reputable news organizations.
To address AI-generated images, Google will label every image created using its AI tools as such. Additionally, Google is collaborating with other platforms and services, including Midjourney and Shutterstock, to ensure that they also mark their AI-generated content accordingly. The goal is to have all AI content in search results clearly flagged to raise awareness among users.
The provenance of images online is a growing issue in the AI age, and there are several startups working to produce verification and authentication tools.
For example, Truepic Inc., backed by Microsoft, offers systems that ensure that an image hasn’t undergone manipulation 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.