Earlier today Google announced a “pausing” of its Gemini artificial intelligence image generation feature after saying it offers “inaccuracies” in historical pictures.

This was a Google-speak response to the AI software having insisted on transforming all historical figures into persons of color. Google has posted an updated statement, saying that it will re-release an “improved” (i.e., significantly whiter) version soon.

May I ask a question? What is the basic difference between (a) black-icizing historical figures via Google Gemini and (b) movies using the presentism aesthetic to assert that people of color were or could, within the realm of our enlightened progressive imaginings, be persons of color in the past, including the British past?

Like the forthcoming Hallmark version of Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility, say?

Since ’15 or thereabouts we’ve all seen like-minded features, plays and cable series set in the 19th and 18th Centuries as well as Elizabethan England, including Netflix’s Bridgerton, Josie Rourke‘s Mary, Queen of Scots, Lynsey Miller and Eve Hedderwick Turner‘s Anne Boleyn, B’way’s Hamilton, Joel Coen‘s The Tragedy of Macbeth (set well before Elizabethan times) and so on.

The casting of all these productions reflect the woke Hollywood aesthetic known as “presentism“. All Google Gemini did was take this well-established trend and inject into a software tasked with providing historical images.