Google Introduces Labels for AI-Generated and Edited Images

2 min read

Google has updated its documentation to fully support the “AI-generated” label and identify AI-manipulated images.

The metadata for displaying an “AI-generated” label in search results is now out of Beta. Google has added support for new metadata to label AI-manipulated images in search results. Google Search Central has updated its documentation to reflect this support for labeling images extended or manipulated with AI. Additionally, Google has quietly removed the “AI-generated” metadata from Beta status, indicating that the “AI-generated” label is now fully supported in search.


IPTC Photo Metadata


The International Press Telecommunications Council (IPTC) is a standards-making body that creates standards for photo metadata. This metadata enables a photograph to be labeled with information such as copyright, licensing, and image descriptions. Although these standards are created by an international press standards organization, Google Images uses them in contexts beyond Google News. The metadata allows Google Images to display additional information about the image.


AI Image Manipulation Metadata


Google has quietly adopted metadata standards for images manipulated with AI algorithms, such as convolutional neural networks (CNNs) and generative adversarial networks (GANs). The new metadata covers two forms of AI image manipulation:



Inpainting involves enhancing an image to restore or reconstruct it by filling in missing parts. It also refers to any algorithmic manipulation that adds elements to an image.



Outpainting extends an image beyond its original borders, adding more content than initially present in the photograph.

Google now supports labeling images manipulated in these ways with a new metadata property of the Digital Source Type called compositeWithTrainedAlgorithmicMedia.



Although this new property resembles structured data, it is not Schema structured data. Instead, it is metadata embedded in a digital image.

This addition to Google’s documentation states:


Digital Source Type

compositeWithTrainedAlgorithmicMedia: The image is a composite of trained algorithmic media with some other media, like inpainting or outpainting operations.


Label For “AI Generated” – algorithmicMedia Metadata


Google has updated its algorithmic media metadata specifications, lifting the Beta status. This change allows images created with AI to be labeled as “AI Generated” when the algorithmicMedia metadata is embedded within the image. Here is the documentation before the update:


algorithmicMedia: The image was created purely by an algorithm and is not based on any sampled training data (for example, an image created by software using a mathematical formula).


Beta: Currently, this property is in beta and only available for IPTC photo metadata. Adding this property makes your image eligible for display with an AI-generated label. However, you may not immediately see the label in Google Images, as we’re still actively developing it.”

The recent update removed the second paragraph entirely, eliminating any mention of Beta status. Interestingly, this change has not been reflected in Google’s official changelog.

According to Google’s Search Central documentation changelog:

“Supporting a new IPTC digital source type


What: Added compositeWithTrainedAlgorithmicMedia to the IPTC photo metadata documentation.

Why: Google can now extract the compositeWithTrainedAlgorithmicMedia IPTC NewsCode.”


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Shilpi Mathur
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