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  • Writer's pictureSarah Ruivivar

Google's New Tools Tackle Image Misinformation Head-On

Image credits: BoliviaInteligente / Unsplash

Misinformation is a real party pooper, especially when it gatecrashes social media platforms.

The uninvited guest often arrives in the form of out-of-context images and videos, causing a ruckus by spreading false information. But Google is having none of it! The tech giant is rolling out a new set of tools to provide more contextual information about images, ensuring that this party stays fun and factual.

Dubbed the "About this image" features, these tools were announced earlier this year and are now available to all English language speakers worldwide. They allow users to view an image’s history, metadata, and the context in which it was used on different sites. This means you can see when Google Search first "saw" the image, helping you understand its recency. You can also see how people described the image on other sites, which can help debunk any false claims.

But wait, there's more! Google has even incorporated a feature to indicate if an image is AI-generated. All images created by Google AI are marked, and other companies like Adobe, Microsoft, Nikon, and Leica have also released symbols to clearly mark AI-generated images.

Accessing these tools is a piece of cake. Simply click the three-dot menu on Google Images results or the "more about this page" option on the "About this result" tool.

Google is also extending a helping hand to approved journalists and fact-checkers, allowing them to upload or copy URLs of images to learn more about them using the FaceCheck Claim Search API.

And the cherry on top? Google is experimenting with generative AI to help describe sources like unfamiliar sellers or unknown blogs. Users who have opted-in to use Search Generative experience (SGE) will see AI-generated information about sites in the "more about this page section."

In the face of rising tech that enables the creation of different images using generative AI, companies are working hard to provide more information about images. Adobe has released an open-sourced toolkit to help apps and websites verify image credentials, and X has launched Community Notes for its crowdsourced fact-checking programme for images and videos.

So, let's keep the party going, with Google ensuring it's a misinformation-free zone!

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