Google Restricts Gemini AI for Election Queries

Google Restricts Gemini AI for Election Queries

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Google has implemented restrictions on the use of its Gemini AI for answering questions related to upcoming elections in various countries. Users attempting to query Google’s AI chatbot about elections must do so from countries where no elections are scheduled. This move aims to prevent the dissemination of potentially misleading or inaccurate information during sensitive political periods.

The search giant confirmed to TechCrunch that it has initiated the rollout of these restrictions globally in markets where elections are underway. Currently, the update has been deployed in the U.S. and is being gradually introduced in India and other major countries with impending elections.

This development underscores the evolving role of generative AI in electoral processes and reflects Google’s apprehension regarding potential misuse or the propagation of unreliable responses. The decision in India coincides with a recent advisory mandating government approval for the launch of new AI models by tech firms.

Queries concerning political entities or candidates now prompt a predetermined response from Gemini, indicating its ongoing learning process and suggesting the use of Google Search as an alternative. Despite these measures, loopholes remain evident, as observed with responses triggered by typos in queries.

In response to the need for caution in addressing such critical topics, Google has justified these restrictions as part of its commitment to delivering high-quality information. The timing of the update aligns with the upcoming general elections in India, coinciding with earlier advisories on AI model launches.

Previous controversies involving Gemini and the Indian government, such as its response to inquiries about Prime Minister Narendra Modi, have prompted scrutiny and calls for accountability. These incidents have led to temporary suspensions of Gemini’s functionalities, including image generation capabilities, due to historical inaccuracies.

The fate of Gemini’s ability to address election-related queries post-election season remains uncertain. Efforts to seek clarification from Google on this matter and to obtain a comprehensive list of affected countries are ongoing, and updates will be provided accordingly.