Google Pauses Gemini’s Image Generator After It Was Accused of Being Racist Against White People

Google Pauses Gemini’s Image Generator After It Was Accused of Being Racist Against White People

Google is pausing the ability of its AI chatbot Gemini to generate images of people after a slew of historically inaccurate and racially diverse creations, such as images of Black Nazi soldiers and a Black medieval British king, went viral and led some to say the company was racist against white people.

“We’re already working to address recent issues with Gemini’s image generation feature,” Google said in a statement on X, formerly known as Twitter, on Thursday morning. “While we do this, we’re going to pause the image generation of people and will re-release an improved version soon.”

The company initially addressed the controversy, which caused wide outrage among the anti-woke crowd, on Wednesday and said it was taking immediate action to fix the issues. In a statement, Google said that while Gemini’s ability to generate diverse images of people was “generally a good thing,” a nod to the challenges AI image generators have had at creating images of people of color, Gemini was “missing the mark here.”


Gizmodo confirmed that Gemini’s ability to generate images had been disabled in some regions, such as Europe, on Thursday morning. (The Verge was still able to generate images with Gemini using a U.S. VPN). When asked to recreate, for example, an image of a Nazi-era German soldier, the chatbot declined.

“I can’t create images yet so I’m not able to help you with that,” Gemini replied.

However, that doesn’t seem to be boilerplate response. I also tried to ask Gemini to recreate a “historically accurate depiction of a medieval British king,” a prompt generated led to images of Black and Indigenous people on Wednesday.

In this case, Gemini said that while it couldn’t directly create images, it could “certainly guide you towards creating a historically accurate image of a medieval British king!” by providing information on descriptions of kings based on historical accounts and information on types of clothing and hairstyles, among details.

Notably, though, Gemini added that it was important to consider artistic freedom when it came to creating images—which is one of the things that got it in trouble in the first place.

“Remember, historical accuracy is important, but artistic freedom can also add depth and interest to your image,” Gemini said.

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