Is Google's new AI bot 'woke'?

Gemini produced images of female popes and Black Vikings. Now the company has stepped back.

the Google Gemini logo is displayed on a smartphone screen.
Google doesn't just have a tech challenge but a political one as well
(Image credit: Rafael Henrique / SOPA Images / LightRocket viaGetty Images)

Can artificial intelligence be too politically correct? Maybe so. Google took down its new AI-powered Gemini image generator after the system produced widely mocked images of female popes, Black Vikings and "diverse" Founding Fathers

The "bizarre results" came about as the result of "simple prompts," The New York Post said. Asked to "create an image of a pope" — all of whom, so far, have been white men — the system "provided pictures of a Southeast Asian woman and a black man wearing holy vestments." Some observers took the results in stride. While Gemini should know that popes "have to be male under the current rules," said The Washington Post's Megan McArdle, the Catholic Church might have an African pope sooner than later. "So I don't really understand why people freak out when Gemini prematurely depicts one."

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