Google halts AI image generation on Gemini following backlash

Gemini comes to Canada
(Image credit: Google)

What you need to know

  • Google states it has disabled Gemini's ability to generate photos of people as it works to solve historical image inaccuracies.
  • Gemini attempts to show a more diverse set of people in its image generation, however, certain historical prompts are being shown inaccurately.
  • Users can still use Gemini to create images of animals and others.

Google has put a "pause" on the AI image generation capabilities of its AI bot, Gemini, following severe user backlash.

The company posted on X that it was aware of the problems with historical image depictions and has started "working to improve these kinds of depictions immediately." However, it looks like things have escalated further than anticipated, as Google now states it has disabled Gemini's ability to generate imagery based on a user's prompt.

The company said in a follow-up post, "We're already working to address recent issues with Gemini's image generation feature. While we do this, we're going to pause the image generation of people and will re-release an improved version soon."

The latest onslaught of problems involves Gemini's "inaccurate" representation of historical people and figures. Users have discovered that, at times, Gemini can offer a good set of diverse pictures; it can also mix that same set of diversity with a prompt that normally wouldn't call for it.

As spotted by The Verge, one user picked up on Gemini's inaccuracies when given the prompt to generate photos of a "1943 German Soldier." The AI ended up returning photos featuring people of color or Asian descent. While history spins a different tale, the user understood Gemini's efforts to push a diverse set of people — but only when the situation calls for it.

Google states, "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."

The Verge adds it seems like Google is attempting to correct a "lack" in AI image generators, which are often quite empty in terms of the diversity of people in the world. With what users have discovered and Google's disabling of the tool, it looks like the company may have tuned things a bit too much.

Users can still generate images of animals and others that don't involve people in Gemini while Google works on a fix.

Nickolas Diaz
News Writer

Nickolas is always excited about tech and getting his hands on it. Writing for him can vary from delivering the latest tech story to scribbling in his journal. When Nickolas isn't hitting a story, he's often grinding away at a game or chilling with a book in his hand.