Google's New Tool Pulls Back the Curtain on Images
October 30, 2023
1 min 33 sec read
Yeah, yeah, we've all heard the phrase, "A picture is worth a thousand words."
Well, Google is rolling out a new feature called About This Image
that spills the pixels on the pictures we see online. Among other things, users can see an image's history to learn how a website is using it and tell them how the image is being used in other sources.
Google announced this feature earlier this year, and now it's available to English language users globally in Google Search.
Google says this is a great way for users to "check the credibility and context of images they see online." These days, you can't always believe what you see, so Google's new tool is an effort to level the playing field for users, giving them a tool for image transparency.
Let's face it, how many times have you seen images that just felt a little off? You know, like an image about a riot at a 2023 concert with Jimi Hendrix onstage in the background. Well, now you'll be able to stop the madness and call out the source using that image.
With this tool, you'll be able to identify an image's history, so basically, if the image has been around the block a few times, you'll know about it. You'll see if the image, or even a similar image, has been used before and how it was used. This is useful for spotting images being taken out of context or if it's being used incorrectly in relation to a current event.
You can also see what's said about an image elsewhere, like fact-checking sites and news sources. This helps you gain a better perspective and gives you insight that can help you determine the validity or usefulness of the image in question.
Then, of course, if it's available, you can check out the metadata that gets added to an image after it's been created. This includes fields that can let you know if the image was created or modified by AI. This info is included on all Google AI-generated images.
It's great to know these tools are available, so now if you've been questioning that pic of Mickey Mouse testifying in front of the Senate about the latest AI concerns, you've got a surefire way to verify it before you go into a tirade on social media.
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