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Google ‘About This Image’: New Features To Improve Image Verification

To combat misinformation, Google updates search results with "About this image" and AI-generated image markups.

  • Google is introducing a tool called "About this image" to give users detailed context about images.
  • AI-generated images will now have a markup in the original file to indicate they're AI-generated.
  • These developments are part of Google's ongoing commitment to enhance information literacy.

In an era where misinformation is a global concern, Google is upgrading its search capabilities by introducing two features to enhance information and visual literacy.

A 2022 Poynter study revealed that 62% of people believe they encounter misinformation daily or weekly, highlighting the urgent need for effective tools to identify and counter false information.

As digital content creators continue to leverage AI to produce images, these features will allow users to assess the context and credibility of images found online.

About This Image: A New Tool For Context

The first update, called “About this image,” is slated to launch in the coming months.

The tool is designed to offer users a broader context around an image, including:

  • The time when Google first indexed the image and similar ones.
  • The image’s original appearance site.
  • Other online platforms where the image has been displayed, such as news sites, social media, and fact-checking websites.

This background information can assist users in determining an image’s reliability or whether it necessitates a more thorough examination.

For instance, “About this image” could reveal that an image depicting a staged moon landing was highlighted in news articles when found to be AI-generated.

This tool can be accessed through the following means:

  • Clicking on the three dots on an image in Google Images results.
  • Searching with an image or screenshot in Google Lens.
  • Swiping up in the Google App when viewing a page with an image
  • Right-clicking or long-pressing on an image in Chrome on desktop and mobile (coming later this year).

AI-Generated Images Get A Markup

Google’s second announcement pertains to AI-generated images.

As generative image capabilities are rolled out, every AI-generated image will have a markup in the original file. This is designed to provide context if the image is encountered outside Google’s platforms.

Creators and publishers will have the ability to add similar markups. This means users can see a label in images in Google Search, marking them as AI-generated.

This feature will be available from several publishers, including Midjourney and Shutterstock, in the coming months.

A Continuous Commitment To Information Literacy

The introduction of “About this image” and AI-generated image markups are the latest in a series of features aimed at helping users make sense of what they find online.

These updates are in line with Google’s ongoing commitment to information literacy.

In recent years, Google has introduced similar features like the “About this result” tool, which helps you see more information about a source or topic.

As the web continues to evolve, these updates provide users with crucial tools to navigate the digital landscape confidently and accurately.

Category News SEO
SEJ STAFF Matt G. Southern Senior News Writer at Search Engine Journal

Matt G. Southern, Senior News Writer, has been with Search Engine Journal since 2013. With a bachelor’s degree in communications, ...

Google ‘About This Image’: New Features To Improve Image Verification

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