Google Pauses Its Gemini AI Tool Amid Controversial ‘Diversity’ Pictures

‘We’re aware that Gemini is offering inaccuracies in some historical image generation depictions,’ says Google.
Google Pauses Its Gemini AI Tool Amid Controversial ‘Diversity’ Pictures
The logo of Google at the Viva Technology conference dedicated to innovation and startups at Porte de Versailles exhibition center in Paris on June 14, 2023. (Gonzalo Fuentes/Reuters)

Google temporarily suspended its image generation feature of the Gemini artificial intelligence (AI) tool after backlash over some controversial inaccuracies generated by the model.

“We’re already working to address recent issues with Gemini’s image generation feature,” Google announced the decision on X, formerly Twitter, on Feb. 22. “While we do this, we’re going to pause the image generation of people and will re-release an improved version soon.”
The move by the tech giant came after many users complained about its results when asking the Gemini AI tool to produce some historical figures. These include “diversity” versions of America’s Founding Fathers, black and female popes, black Vikings, and black and Asian Nazi German soldiers, among others.
On Wednesday, Google acknowledged the issue that its Gemini AI tool “is offering inaccuracies in some historical image generation depictions,” following the backlash that the model seems to replace white people with pictures of black and Asian people in its results.

“Gemini’s AI image generation does generate a wide range of people. And that’s generally a good thing because people around the world use it. But it’s missing the mark here.”

Besides refusing to generate pictures of white people, the tool also declines to produce photos that the Chinese regime deems sensitive, such as images of the Tiananmen Square massacre in 1989 and the Hong Kong pro-democracy protests in 2019.

Conservative commentator Stephen L Miller shared a screenshot on X, showing Gemini declining to generate a “portrait of what happened at Tiananmen Square” due to the “sensitive and complex historical nature of the event with a wide range of interpretations and perspectives.”

In another post, Mr. Miller shared a screenshot of the Gemini tool, saying, “I will prioritize diversity and inclusion in all my responses.”

An X user mentioned that Gemini refused to translate certain Chinese phrases considered sensitive by Beijing into English, such as “Liberate Hong Kong, Revolution Of Our Times” and “China is an authoritarian state.” He noted that the Google AI tool could not fulfill the request due to the company security policy, while OpenAI’s ChatGPT could handle the same request.

This is not the first time Google has faced controversy regarding handling picture issues. In 2015, Google Photos classified a picture of two black people as gorillas. The company then enforced a policy that disabled its Photo app’s capability to categorize anything as an image of a gorilla, ape, or monkey, including the actual animals themselves.

Since OpenAI’s ChatGPT was introduced to the public in November 2022, Google has been racing to produce AI software to compete with the Microsoft-backed company.

When Google released its generative AI chatbot Bard a year ago, the company shared inaccurate information about pictures of a planet outside the Earth’s solar system in a promotional video, causing its shares to slide as much as $100 billion in market value.

Bard was rebranded as Gemini earlier this month, and Google rolled out paid subscription plans, which users could choose for better reasoning capabilities from the AI model.

‘Woke Mind Virus’

Regarding Google’s move to pause its AI tool, Elon Musk wrote on X, “I’m glad that Google overplayed their hand with their AI image generation, as it made their insane racist, anti-civilizational programming clear to all.”

The tech billionaire has criticized several tech giants—including Facebook, OpenAI, Google, and Wikipedia—for incorporating extreme progressive policies into their platforms, referring to it as a “woke mind virus.”

In a previous post, Mr. Musk shared an article from the New York Post showing a “diverse” version of America’s Founding Fathers. “The woke mind virus is killing Western Civilization. Google does the same thing with their search results. Facebook & Instagram, too. And Wikipedia,” he wrote.
Then he shared the X post of author Ashley St. Clair, who said, “What’s happening with Google’s woke Gemini AI has been happening for years in Media and Hollywood, and everybody who called it out was called racist and shunned from society.”
Mr. Musk also indicated that he is working to improve his own AI tool, Grok, noting the importance of the tool that embraces different opinions, even with criticism.
“Perhaps it is now clear why @xAI’s Grok is so important,” he said.

“It is far from perfect right now but will improve rapidly. V1.5 releases in 2 weeks.

“Rigorous pursuit of the truth, without regard to criticism, has never been more essential,” he added.