Gemini replaces Bard and Duet as the model and product for releasing all of Google’s artificial intelligence. Google is well-known for its variety of seemingly unrelated products, each with a million different names that can be confusing. In terms of its artificial intelligence efforts, however, moving ahead, only one name will ring true: Gemini.
According to Thursday’s announcement, Gemini will replace Bard as the company’s chatbot, an Android app will be available for download, and all of Google Workspace’s Duet AI features will be unified under the Gemini name. The announcement also revealed that Google’s most powerful and expansive large language model, Gemini Ultra 1.0, is now available to the general public.
Most users will probably first see the new tool in Gemini’s mobile apps. In place of Google Assistant, the new app can make Gemini your default assistant on Android. This means that when you long-press the home button or say “Hey Google,” Gemini will respond instead. Google has been de-emphasizing assistants for some time now, and it’s obvious that Gemini is the future. However, it doesn’t appear that the assistant is being eliminated. The head of Google’s Bard (now Gemini), Sissie Hsiao, stated, “I think it’s a super important first step towards building a true AI assistant.” “One that is conversational, it’s multimodal, and it’s more helpful than ever before.”
Gemini is your man if you’re looking for a chatbot, assistant, and search engine. You won’t find an official Gemini app for iOS, and setting an alternative to Siri as your default isn’t possible anyway, but the Google app has all the AI capabilities you need. There will be a toggle at the very top of the app that allows you to switch from Search to Gemini, just to give you an idea of how essential Gemini is to Google. While Google Search has been the company’s bread and butter for the whole of its existence, signs are appearing that Gemini could soon overtake it.
The remaining modifications to Gemini are primarily focused on branding. Although it is no longer called Bard, Google’s chatbot will retain its previous feel. Similarly, the AI features within Google’s Workspace apps, such as Gmail and Docs, that were formerly known as “Duet AI” but are currently also known as Gemini, will carry over unchanged. All sorts of office-related chores, like organizing a spreadsheet or drafting an email, are made easier with those features.
Gemini Pro, the original version of the model, will continue to be the preferred choice for the majority of users. The most potent version of the model, Gemini Ultra, can only be accessed with the new $20/month Google One AI Premium plan, which includes a Gemini Advanced subscription. Google portrays the upgrade as a mere $10 per month for customers who already have Google Drive storage of 2 terabytes as well as the other features of Google One. Most people pay $20 per month for a premium AI bot, so it’s equivalent cost as ChatGPT Plus and similar products.
Hsiao proclaims that Gemini Ultra “sets the state of the art across a wide range of benchmarks across text, image, audio, and video” for the $20 monthly fee. The Ultra model is better at complex tasks like coding and reasoning and can hold longer conversations with more context.
The increasing number of strong AI competitors, including OpenAI, Anthropic, Perplexity, and others, makes Google’s heavy investment in Gemini all the more surprising. The Gemini-powered Bard performed admirably. It was almost as efficient as GPT-4 but much slower. Google now has the challenge of creating an attractive consumer product while simultaneously trying to persuade developers to use Gemini instead of OpenAI, so it needs to demonstrate it can stay up with the industry.
There have been very few instances in Google’s history where the entire company appeared to be putting all of its eggs in one basket. At one point, that evolved into Google+, and the outcome of that is clear. It seems, though, that Google is recommitting itself to its role as an AI company. This suggests that Gemini has the potential to become as large as Google.