Google hits pause on Gemini AI image generation, Employees reconsider remote work amid layoff concerns

Plus: some good news.

Greetings, comms pros! Let’s look at a few news stories from the past week and see what we can learn from them.

1 . Google pauses Gemini AI image creator after debacle over historically inaccurate pictures

While the generative AI explosion fundamentally changes how we communicate in the workplace, we are often reminded that it’s still in its early days. Reports state that Google’s AI tool Gemini spit back historically inaccurate images of historical figures, including portraying the American Founding Fathers as people of color. As with many things in this world, it lit a firestorm on social media.

According to CNBC:

Google said in a post on X on Wednesday that the AI feature can “generate a wide range of people. And that’s generally a good thing because people around the world use it.” But it said that the software feature is “missing the mark here,” adding that the tech giant is “working to improve these kind of depictions immediately.”

Google posted an updated statement on Thursday, saying that it will pause Gemini’s feature to generate images of people and will re-release an “improved” version soon.

If it’s on the internet, someone is likely to complain about it. But learning from its past gaffes that there are still kinks to work out with all fresh AI tech, Google gets credit for getting ahead of the situation, admitting fault, and committing to fixes. It’s also a reminder that AI image generation is not without its risks, including attaching such images to copyrighted work or owned assets. Generate with caution.

2. Employees weigh remote work benefits amid threat of layoffs

Remote work forms a big part of our working culture today, even four years after the outset of the pandemic. But what if external forces like layoffs changed that?

According to a report by Bloomberg, some employees are considering whether sticking to their guns with remote work is worth potentially being out of a job entirely.

​​This polarizing pivot is leading many remote staff to a harsh but hard-to-ignore conclusion: The only thing worse than having to go in-person for a job is not having one at all. Josh Schur got caught in the shift.

Last summer, the 37-year-old quit his job as an associate producer on a television show when management told him to be in five days a week. He figured he’d be able to find a remote role quickly. It’s now been six months. Layoffs are mounting, and he’s realizing he may need to take a job at least partly in an office.

“I don’t have a choice at this point,” he said.

This is quite the conundrum. Some people simply work better from home — the arrangement frees up the time lost to lengthy commutes and accommodates easier scheduling of personal duties like childcare. But there’s no sweeping right answer here—it depends on the needs of the team, the purpose behind returning to the office, and whether in-person interactions bring tangible productivity gains.

Remote workers aren’t lazy, and the office isn’t a magic solution to all of your organization’s cultural problems. Find a balance, and communicate clearly with all of your employees about their work situations, no matter where they are. The less cloudy the situation is, the easier it will be to talk about and ultimately optimize for everyone.

3. How about some good news?

Have a great weekend comms all-stars!

Sean Devlin is an editor at Ragan Communications. In his spare time he enjoys Philly sports, a good pint and ’90s trivia night.


One Response to “Google hits pause on Gemini AI image generation, Employees reconsider remote work amid layoff concerns”

    Don Voltaire says:

    The current remote work landscape is complex, with layoffs prompting reevaluation. Balancing employee needs with organizational goals requires clear communication and flexibility. Remote work isn’t a panacea, but nor is the office. Finding the right balance is key for productivity and morale. Daily Headlines

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