Google is set to roll out a new tool called About this image for English-language searches in the US, reports The Verge. It will distinguish real images from those that have been altered or created with AI tools such as Midjourney or Stable Diffusion.
The functionality of the tool extends to “reverse image search”, which allows you to download a photo or drawing of unknown origin to find its source. At the same time, a menu option appears that allows you to trace the history of the image: when it was first indexed by Google, the first website on which it appeared, and its subsequent publications.
Google illustrated the operation of the tool on the example of a fabricated image of the moon landing. The tool showed how this image was used in various conspiracy theory articles. However, the utility of the tool is not limited to such scenarios.
For example, a photo related to a current event that originally appeared in a reputable news source such as Getty, Reuters, or CNN may be considered authentic. On the other hand, an image that first appeared on a little-known comedy resource, despite the presence of a news organization’s watermark, is most likely fabricated.
If it works properly, this tool will be invaluable in combating the spread of misinformation, and it remains to be hoped that other platforms will follow suit and that it will be extended by Google to other countries and languages.
In addition, Google revealed that images created by its generative AI tools will contain metadata indicating their origin, regardless of which Google platform they appear on. Other authors and publishers will also be able to label their images using the same technology, although the extent of its implementation is yet to be determined.
Google’s blog says that Midjourney and Shutterstock, among others, plan to implement such markup in the coming months.