Advanced Computing in the Age of AI | Thursday, April 18, 2024

Google Renames Bard AI To Gemini and Launches a New App 

Google has been investing heavily in AI for several years with a goal to improve Search and other products. The company is known for having a variety of similar products with confusingly different names. However, Google has decided that it would only have one name for all its AI work – Gemini.

The tech giant recently announced that Google’s AI will now be rebranded as Gemini. This includes Bard, its artificial intelligence chatbot and assistant, and the major global competitor to OpenAI’s ChatGPT. The Duet AI, Google’s Workspace apps like Gmail and Doc, will also be known as Gemini.

Gemini is the name of a large language model (LLM) that powers Bard. It is the most powerful LLM at Google, capable of advanced text generation, holding conversations, and generating computer code. The most-awaited Google Gemini 1.0 was launched in December last year in three plans: Gemini Ultra, Gemini Pro, and Gemini Nano.

Google also announced that it is releasing a dedicated Gemini app for Android. While there is no dedicated Gemini app for iOS yet, users can experience Gemini features on the Google app on iOS in the coming weeks.

The Google mobile app is where most people will have their first encounter with Gemini. Users can set Gemini as the default assistance in the app. While Google has not made any announcement on whether they are getting rid of Assistant, the company has been deprioritizing Assistant for a while. We can expect Gemini to eventually replace Assistant.

Gemini can generate images based on prompts (Source: Google)

The announcement by Google also includes an introduction to Gemini Advanced, which gives users access to Gemini Ultra 1.0, Google’s largest and most capable state-of-the-art AI model.

“With our Ultra 1.0 model, Gemini Advanced is far more capable at highly complex tasks like coding, logical reasoning, following nuanced instructions, and collaborating on creative projects. Gemini Advanced not only allows you to have longer, more detailed conversations; it also better understands the context from your previous prompts.” wrote Sissie Hsiao, vice president and general manager of Gemini in a blog post.

The rebranding and introduction of a new AI app highlights Google’s commitment to pursuing and investing in AI assistants including everything from chatbots to coding assistants. In a recent earnings call, Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai shared his vision that he eventually wants an AI agent that completes more and more tasks on the user’s behalf.

Another indicator of how important Gemini is to Google is that now there is going to be a toggle at the top of the app that lets users switch from Search to Gemini. The Search is the most important product of the company in its entire existence, and it appears that Gemini seems to matter just as much.

Google has also announced a new AI subscription option suited for power users who want to access Gemini Ultra 1.0. The new subscription will cost $19.99 per month through Google One, the company’s paid storage tool. Exiting Google One paid subscribers get a two-month free trial.

It seems like Google is fully committed to being an AI company, and if that is the case, then the next chapter of the Gemina era could define Google’s future. The search engine leader will have to compete against OpenAI, Perplexity, Anthropic, and several other powerful AI competitors.

This article first appeared in Datanami

About the author: Alex Woodie

Alex Woodie has written about IT as a technology journalist for more than a decade. He brings extensive experience from the IBM midrange marketplace, including topics such as servers, ERP applications, programming, databases, security, high availability, storage, business intelligence, cloud, and mobile enablement. He resides in the San Diego area.