Google bans Gemini AI from answering questions on global elections

Google’s AI products are under scrutiny after inaccuracies in some historical depictions.

Google is blocking AI chatbot Gemini from answering questions about global elections this year as it seeks to avoid potential missteps in deploying the technology, the Alphabet-owned company said on Tuesday.

The update comes at a time when advances in generative AI, including image and video generation, have fueled concerns of misinformation and fake news among the public, prompting governments to regulate the technology.

When Gemini was asked about the upcoming US presidential election such as the contest between Joe Biden and Donald Trump, he replied, “I’m still learning how to answer this question. In the meantime, try a Google search Do it”.

Google announced the restrictions within the US in December, saying they would go into effect ahead of the election.

“In preparation for the many elections taking place around the world in 2024, and out of an abundance of caution, we are restricting the types of election-related questions to which Gemini will provide responses,” a company spokesperson said Tuesday.

Apart from the United States, national elections are scheduled to be held in many big countries including South Africa and India, the world’s largest democracy.

India has asked tech companies to seek government approval before releasing “untrusted” or under-tested AI tools to the public and labeled them as likely to give wrong answers.

Google’s AI products are under scrutiny after Gemini found inaccuracies in some historical depictions of people created by Gemini, forcing it to halt the chatbot’s image-creation feature late last month.

CEO Sundar Pichai said the company was working to fix those issues and called the chatbot’s responses “biased” and “completely unacceptable.”

Facebook-parent Meta Platform said last month it would form a team to combat disinformation and the misuse of generative AI ahead of European Parliament elections in June.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)