Home Google confirms Gemini restrictions on global election content

Google confirms Gemini restrictions on global election content

Google has confirmed restrictions on its Gemini chatbot in relation to responses to queries on crucial general elections to take place this year, including the race for the White House.

The Alphabet-owned company is taking steps to control the dissemination of misinformation (and to prevent it as much as possible) by limiting the output of its generative AI assistant. Images, video, and audio have recently been created to maliciously impact the democratic process or for electioneering purposes.

Concerns around the spread of such content have led to governments sitting around the table, often with the involvement of the big tech firms, to find solutions to the challenges and regulate the overall AI landscape.

For the upcoming US presidential election later this year, Google previously stated it would be taking action, and that has materialized. If you attempt to ask Gemini about the face-off between incumbent President Joe Biden and Donald Trump, it will respond with:

“I’m still learning how to answer this question. In the meantime, try Google Search”.

A Google spokesperson was quoted by Reuters on the motivation for limiting their chatbot service.

“In preparation for the many elections happening around the world in 2024 and out of an abundance of caution, we are restricting the types of election-related queries for which Gemini will return responses.”

What other elections are taking place, and what has already happened?

Crucial national polls are set to take place worldwide, in addition to the US.

The UK’s general election will take place later in the year, with a date still not fixed, while important elections will take place in South Africa and India, the world’s largest democracy.

In the case of the latter, tech companies have been prompted to secure government approval before releasing AI software that is “unreliable” or still in development.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan blasted fake AI-powered audio, which had the potential to incite trouble on the streets, while deepfake electioneering saw the return of the feared dictator Suharto for the recent election in Indonesia, with a video address to the electorate.

Google’s collective focus on this issue will have been sharpened recently after its CEO Sundar Pichai sent an internal memo to staff, stressing Gemini errors were “completely unacceptable” after the artificial intelligence (AI) app embroiled the company in controversy.

The tech giant suspended its image creation function on Gemini after it generated offensive and historically inaccurate results.

Image credit: Ideogram

About ReadWrite’s Editorial Process

The ReadWrite Editorial policy involves closely monitoring the tech industry for major developments, new product launches, AI breakthroughs, video game releases and other newsworthy events. Editors assign relevant stories to staff writers or freelance contributors with expertise in each particular topic area. Before publication, articles go through a rigorous round of editing for accuracy, clarity, and to ensure adherence to ReadWrite's style guidelines.

Graeme Hanna
Tech Journalist

Graeme Hanna is a full-time, freelance writer with significant experience in online news as well as content writing. Since January 2021, he has contributed as a football and news writer for several mainstream UK titles including The Glasgow Times, Rangers Review, Manchester Evening News, MyLondon, Give Me Sport, and the Belfast News Letter. Graeme has worked across several briefs including news and feature writing in addition to other significant work experience in professional services. Now a contributing news writer at ReadWrite.com, he is involved with pitching relevant content for publication as well as writing engaging tech news stories.

Get the biggest tech headlines of the day delivered to your inbox

    By signing up, you agree to our Terms and Privacy Policy. Unsubscribe anytime.

    Tech News

    Explore the latest in tech with our Tech News. We cut through the noise for concise, relevant updates, keeping you informed about the rapidly evolving tech landscape with curated content that separates signal from noise.

    In-Depth Tech Stories

    Explore tech impact in In-Depth Stories. Narrative data journalism offers comprehensive analyses, revealing stories behind data. Understand industry trends for a deeper perspective on tech's intricate relationships with society.

    Expert Reviews

    Empower decisions with Expert Reviews, merging industry expertise and insightful analysis. Delve into tech intricacies, get the best deals, and stay ahead with our trustworthy guide to navigating the ever-changing tech market.