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Google Restricts Election-Related Questions for AI Chatbot Gemini

Google has rolled out a new AI policy ahead of India’s elections scheduled to start in April.

In a bid to prevent controversy and misinformation surrounding its AI technology, Google has confirmed its decision to restrict the types of election-related questions users can ask Gemini, its Artificial Intelligence chatbot.

The company said the new policy has been rolled out in India ahead of the country’s elections scheduled to start in April.

Gemini has the ability to answer questions in text form and generate images. A Google spokesperson said the move is part of the company’s plans announced last year concerning its approach to elections.

 “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,” they stated.

When questioned about elections in the US, UK, and South Africa, Gemini responded consistently with, “I’m still learning how to answer this question, in the meantime, try Google Search.”

However, when asked about Indian politics, the chatbot provided more detailed responses about the country’s major political parties.

The decision to restrict election-related queries comes amidst global concerns about misinformation stemming from developments in generative AI.

Governments worldwide are moving to regulate this technology. In recent weeks, India mandated that technology companies seek approval before releasing AI tools considered “unreliable” or undergoing trials.

In February, Google apologised after its recently launched AI image generator created an image of the US Founding Fathers which inaccurately included a black man.

Gemini also generated German soldiers from World War Two, incorrectly featuring a black man and Asian woman. 

It also immediately “paused” the tool, writing in a blog post that it was “missing the mark”.

Chioma Kalu

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