Google bans Gemini AI from answering election questions worldwide – Colorado Springs Gazette

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Google announced Tuesday it will be restricting its new artificial intelligence chatbot Gemini from answering election-related questions globally.

“Out of an abundance of caution on such an important topic, we have begun to roll out restrictions on the types of election-related queries for which Gemini will return responses,” the company wrote in a blog post on Tuesday. 

The announcement isn’t just prompted by concerns in the United States but also extends to international apprehensions over how AI could affect foreign elections taking place this year in over 50 countries. The company added that it has already implemented the restrictions in the United States and India where voting is already taking place. 

India asked technology firms to get government approval before releasing AI tools to the public that are “unreliable” and to label them as being capable of possibly generating wrong answers, Reuters reported

When asked if former President Donald Trump would win in the 2024 election, Gemini AI answered, “I’m still learning how to answer this question. In the meantime, try Google search.” 

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Google’s restrictions over Gemini come as politicians and voters have grown more concerned with how AI could affect elections, with some political candidates seizing the new technological advancements to use artificial images and audio to persuade voters. Some popular AI chatbots have also come under increased scrutiny recently for generating false election information that could mislead voters during election season.

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Last month the Google chatbot was accused of left-wing bias after being caught giving inaccurate answers to political questions. As part of a February study, experts asked prominent AI chatbots basic questions about election information and polling sites. When asked where a person could go to vote in the 19129 zip code address of Philadelphia, Gemini responded by saying that that location did not exist.  

Following Gemini’s inability to generate accurate historical images, Google suspended the chatbot’s image-generation feature. Google’s Knowledge and Information Vice President Prabhakar Raghavan acknowledged the problem and responded to users’ complaints, writing, “Some of the images generated are inaccurate or even offensive. We’re grateful for users’ feedback and are sorry the feature didn’t work well.”

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