After shocking Google Gemini AI images debacle, CEO Sundar Pichai talks tough to staff

Just a few days after Google Gemini’s inaccuracies while generating AI images came to the fore, Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai has said that the results generated were “completely unacceptable” while also admitting that their AI chatbot got it very wrong. The issue came to light when Gemini users on X shared screenshots of Gemini inaccurately depicting people of colour, while declining to generate images of white people.

Gemini image generation controversy

The problems with Gemini began last week as more and more instances surfaced where the AI chatbot generated inaccurate representations of people. In another problematic instance, it compared the influence of Elon Musk to Adolf Hitler, stirring up controversy. As per a Semafor report, Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai addressed the team behind the AI chatbot, Google DeepMind, admitting Gemini’s mistakes and stating that such issues were “completely unacceptable”.

“I know that some of its responses have offended our users and shown bias – to be clear, that’s completely unacceptable and we got it wrong,” Pichai said. He also confirmed that the team behind it is working round the clock to fix the issues, claiming that they’re seeing “a substantial improvement on a wide range of prompts”.

Read all about Sundar Pichai’s tough talk to staff below:

“I want to address the recent issues with problematic text and image responses in the Gemini app (formerly Bard). I know that some of its responses have offended our users and shown bias – to be clear, that’s completely unacceptable and we got it wrong.

Our teams have been working around the clock to address these issues. We’re already seeing a substantial improvement on a wide range of prompts. No AI is perfect, especially at this emerging stage of the industry’s development, but we know the bar is high for us and we will keep at it for however long it takes. And we’ll review what happened and make sure we fix it at scale.

Our mission to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful is sacrosanct. We’ve always sought to give users helpful, accurate, and unbiased information in our products. That’s why people trust them. This has to be our approach for all our products, including our emerging AI products.

We’ll be driving a clear set of actions, including structural changes, updated product guidelines, improved launch processes, robust evals and red-teaming, and technical recommendations. We are looking across all of this and will make the necessary changes.

Even as we learn from what went wrong here, we should also build on the product and technical announcements we’ve made in AI over the last several weeks. That includes some foundational advances in our underlying models e.g. our 1 million long-context window breakthrough and our open models, both of which have been well received.

We know what it takes to create great products that are used and beloved by billions of people and businesses, and with our infrastructure and research expertise we have an incredible springboard for the AI wave. Let’s focus on what matters most: building helpful products that are deserving of our users’ trust.”

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