Google confirms global limitations on election-related searches using Gemini

TechCrunch has learned that the search giant has started to restrict queries made Gemini when they relate to elections, in any market globally where elections are taking place. The search giant confirmed to TechCrunch that it started rolling out the restrictions on Gemini to limit surfacing answers about election-related queries globally. TechCrunch found the AI tool did show answers when passing on queries with typos. The AI tool, responding to a query about whether Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was a fascist, responded that Modi had been accused of implementing policies that some had characterized as fascist. It is unclear whether Google will unblock Gemini for answering election-related queries after the elections end later this year.

In recent news, Google’s AI chatbot, Gemini, is now restricted from responding to election-related queries in any country where an election is taking place. The technology giant confirmed that the restrictions have been implemented to limit the spread of potentially misleading or inaccurate information.

If you want to ask Google’s AI chatbot a question about an upcoming election, you will have to do it from a country where there are no elections taking place.

TechCrunch has learned that the update is already live in the U.S., and has begun rolling out in India and other major countries where elections are scheduled to take place in the coming months. This shift highlights both the current role and potential influence of generative AI in the election process, as well as Google’s concern about the potential for the technology to be weaponized.

  • Queries regarding political parties, candidates, and politicians will now return a preset message.
  • When asked about a specific party or candidate, Gemini will respond with:

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

  • However, there are still ways to manipulate the tool, as TechCrunch found that it still provides answers when queried with typos.

“Out of an abundance of caution on such an important topic, we have begun to roll out restrictions on the types of election-related queries for which Gemini will return responses,” Google stated in a blog post regarding the update in India. “We take our responsibility for providing high-quality information for these types of queries seriously and are continuously working to improve our protections.”

The update was released just before the announcement of general elections in India, coinciding with an advisory from the Indian government requiring tech firms to obtain government approval before launching new AI models in the country. This followed a controversy over Gemini’s response to a query about Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi being a fascist. The tool responded with information about accusations made against Modi, which sparked criticism from government officials.

Last month, Google also suspended Gemini’s ability to generate people’s images after it showed historical inaccuracies. The company plans to re-release an improved version to address these issues.

It is currently unknown if Google will unblock Gemini for answering election-related queries once the elections have concluded later this year. We have reached out to Google for comment and will update the story as more information becomes available. Stay updated on the release of Geimini in your country.

Avatar photo
Zara Khan

Zara Khan is a seasoned investigative journalist with a focus on social justice issues. She has won numerous awards for her groundbreaking reporting and has a reputation for fearlessly exposing wrongdoing.

Articles: 847

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *