Has Google image search become a Stepford Wife?

I don’t know when this happened. Maybe I’m crazy. The first  query I noticed was “treehouse.” Below is the first page of image results. There are a lot of pretty pictures there — too pretty. None of them look like they were taken by a parent, particularly because there are no children in any of them.


“Car” produces similar results: all stock-photo looking images, with (almost) no people:


This isn’t universal. Here are the results for Half Dome:


Notice how at least some of the shots look like they were taken by amateurs. This is even more apparent on the second page of results:



This seems to be going on right now; earlier today, “bike” returned regular results: pictures of bikes, people on bikes, drawings of bikes, etc. Apparently the Stepford Wives got to “bike” in the last few hours, because now it returns this:



I’m not sure what to make of this. It feels like the humanity has been sucked out of the results, but the pictures sure are pretty. Is everyone else seeing this? Do you remember what it looked like before? Am I out of my mind?


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