Google is introducing two new image search features to combat the spread of misinformation to its image search, particularly now that artificial intelligence tools have made the creation of photorealistic fakes trivial.
The first new feature from Alphabet is called ‘About this image,’ and it provides additional context such as when an image or similar ones were first indexed by Google, where they first appeared, and where else they’ve appeared online. The goal is to help users identify the original source while contextualizing an image with any debunking evidence provided by news organizations.
Google will label every AI-generated image created by its tools as such, and it is collaborating with other platforms and services to ensure that the same markup is applied to the files they distribute. Google has on board Midjourney and Shutterstock, and the goal is to ensure that all AI content that appears in search results is labeled as such.
The provenance of images on the internet is a growing concern in the AI age, and several startups are developing verification and authentication tools. Truepic, backed by Microsoft, for example, provides systems that ensure an image has not been manipulated from capture to delivery.
Google’s new features, which will be released throughout the year, are comparatively low-tech, but they may have a greater positive impact if enough industry support is provided.