Google begins global restrictions on election-related queries put to its Gemini AI chatbot

Google says it has begun to restrict election-related queries on Gemini ahead of a year of elections globally.
Google says it has begun to restrict election-related queries on Gemini ahead of a year of elections globally. Copyright Canva
By Lauren ChadwickEuronews
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Google said it would roll out the restrictions "out of an abundance of caution" ahead of elections in 2024.

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Google has started rolling out restrictions on election-related queries asked of its Gemini artificial intelligence (AI) model.

The tech giant said in a blog post on Tuesday that it had begun making the changes as part of its support for the 2024 Indian general election expected to be held in the coming months.

"Out of an abundance of caution on such an important topic, we have begun to roll out restrictions on the types of election-related queries for which Gemini will return responses," Google’s India Team said.

"We take our responsibility for providing high-quality information for these types of queries seriously, and are continuously working to improve our protections".

The company had previously stated in December that it planned to restrict some election-related queries put to its AI models and generative AI in Search feature in a blog post on the US elections.

Fears over AI in 2024 elections

In February, the tech giant announced it would restrict election-related queries for Gemini in the European Union as well.

"As we shared last December, in preparation for the many elections happening around the world in 2024 and out of an abundance of caution, we’re restricting the types of election-related queries for which Gemini will return responses," a Google spokesperson said in a statement provided to Euronews Next.

Google has also said that it would "elevate authoritative information” on Google search and YouTube related to elections to help people "discover critical voting information".

In December, the tech giant also outlined efforts to help identify AI-generated content such as advert disclosures and content labels.

Dozens of countries are holding elections in the year 2024 and many are concerned that AI-generated content will play a role in misinformation as voters take to the polls.

Last month, Google paused Gemini’s ability to generate images of people after some of the model’s responses were criticised for bias. Some of the model’s text responses to queries also were criticised as biased.

Other tech giants such as Meta have announced moves to set up centres to combat misinformation ahead of the European Parliament elections this June.

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