- Google LLC announced recently that it is bringing greater transparency to image search, allowing users to determine at a glance whether a JPEG is a genuine photograph or one generated by artificial intelligence.
- According to Google, several publishers, including Shutterstock Inc. and Midjourney Inc., have already consented to use the upcoming feature.
Google LLC announced recently that it is bringing greater transparency to image search, allowing users to determine at a glance whether a JPEG is a genuine photograph or one generated by AI.
The new features in Google Image Search were talked about at Google I/O lately. They include an “About this image” feature plus a file annotation that makes it possible for images to be identified as “AI-generated.”
They arrive at a time of rising interest in generative AI, a technology that can create content, including images, from a basic text command. We also live in the era of “deepfakes,” which refers to AI-generated images that might appear so real that it’s difficult to tell whether they’re real.
Google stated that it wants people to be able to determine whether an image was generated by AI rapidly. To solve this, it will provide additional context with “About this image.” Users can view information such as when the image was first indexed in Google Search and where it surfaced online for the first time by clicking on the image. Users will also be able to see where else it has been used, allowing them to determine if, for instance, a false image is being used to spread misinformation.
The feature will be accessible by selecting three small dots next to the image in Google Images search results in the coming months. It can also be accessed by long-pressing or right-clicking on an image in Google Chrome across desktop and mobile devices, Google said.
In a similar move, Google said all the images generated with its own AI tools would contain a markup in the original file, which links to its source. Similarly, creators and publishers will be able to add markups to their AI-generated images. When they do so, a label will be added to Google Images search results, allowing others to verify that the images were created with artificial intelligence. Google claims several publishers, including Shutterstock Inc. and Midjourney Inc., have already consented to use the upcoming feature.
Andy Thurai, vice president and principal analyst at Constellation Research Inc., deemed Google’s combination of embedded metadata and watermarks particularly compelling. “It’s by far the best responsible AI theme that I have seen,” he told a lead media house. “Fake content, especially during election times, can do a great deal of harm, so this is a good start in preventing that.”
Conversational Search Using Generative AI
Google stated that users will soon be able to use generative AI to improve their searches. Google announced that it is launching an experimental new tool called Search Generative Experience that will enable users to expand their information searches conversationally.
After searching, users will see suggested subsequent actions and links to conduct additional research. When they tap on the next stage, they will be able to access a new conversational mode where they can pose more complex queries about the topic to Google.
Google explained that if a user wanted to search something like “What’s better for a family with kids under 3 and a dog, Bryce Canyon or arches,” they would typically conduct multiple searches to find the information they need. The company stated that Google would comprehend the entire inquiry using the generative AI conversational mode.
The Search Generative Experience will work with Google Shopping, which may benefit individuals seeking information on new products. For example, if someone is in the market for a new bicycle, Google will provide summaries of various factors to consider and a list of products that meet their requirements. Users can then inquire if the bicycle is available in multiple colors, is suitable for off-road, or something else. Google will automatically recognize the context and realize the query is about a specific bicycle.
Google stated that the new experience eliminates the labor of searching for information, enabling users to comprehend topics quicker and uncover new viewpoints and insights. It added that Google won’t stop showing ads, and they’ll be labeled as such.
Thurai praised Google’s new search capabilities extensively: “Combining these features with Google Shopping can be good for websites and e-Commerce enterprises,” he said. “This can be a differentiation for Google while Microsoft is struggling with the market size.”
Google has made a waitlist for people who’d like to use and test the Search Generative Experience as part of this initiative, which will launch in the U.S. in the coming weeks.