Google`s Gemini AI restricted from engaging on global election queries – WION

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Google, the Alphabet-owned tech giant, has implemented restrictions on its AI chatbot Gemini, preventing it from answering question regarding global elections slated to occur this year. The decision, announced on Tuesday (March 12), aims to mitigate potential risks associated with the deployment of such technology, particularly in the context of electoral events.

This comes amid growing concerns surrounding the proliferation of misinformation and fake news, driven by advancements in generative AI technology. These advancements extend to areas such as image and video generation, raising alarms among the public and prompting governments to consider regulatory measures to address these issues.

Gemini’s response to election queries

When prompted with questions regarding elections, including the upcoming US presidential race featuring Joe Biden and Donald Trump, Gemini responded with a message indicating its ongoing learning process and suggested using Google Search as an alternative resource.

Google had previously announced restrictions within the US in December, with plans to enforce them prior to the election. 

“In preparation for the many elections happening around the world in 2024 and out of an abundance of caution, we are restricting the types of election-related queries for which Gemini will return responses,” a company spokesperson told Reuters.

Besides the United States, several other countries, including South Africa and India, are gearing up for national elections. India, in particular, has mandated that tech firms obtain government approval before releasing AI tools deemed “unreliable” or still in the trial phase.

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Google’s AI products have faced scrutiny following inaccuracies observed in historical depictions generated by Gemini, prompting the suspension of the chatbot’s image-generation feature. CEO Sundar Pichai acknowledged these issues, describing the chatbot’s responses as biased and unacceptable, while affirming the company’s commitment to resolving them.

Meta Platforms, the parent company of Facebook, announced plans to establish a dedicated team to combat disinformation and misuse of generative AI leading up to the European Parliament elections scheduled for June. 

(With inputs from agencies)

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