Google has bid farewell to its Google Bard initiative, rebranding it as Gemini, the flagship model within its family of foundation models.

This decision comes nearly a year after Google’s initial launch of Bard, which aimed to rival OpenAI’s ChatGPT.

The highlight of this rebranding effort is the introduction of Gemini Ultra, the most advanced large language model by Google to date. However, unlike its predecessors, Gemini Ultra will be available as a paid experience.

Google has announced that it will be accessible through a new $20 Google One tier, offering users a two-month free trial along with 2TB of storage and other features of Google One. Moreover, access to Gemini will extend to Google Workspace apps such as Docs, Slides, Sheets, and Meet. Concurrently, Google will phase out the Duet AI brand, integrating its features into the Gemini platform.

To enhance accessibility, Google is launching the Gemini app for Android and integrating it into the Google app on iOS. Additionally, Android users can replace Google Assistant with Gemini. Furthermore, developers seeking API access to the Ultra model can expect more information to be shared by Google in the coming weeks.

Gemini Advanced, an iteration of the model, will initially be available in English across more than 150 countries and territories, with plans to introduce Japanese and Korean in subsequent updates.

Although Google initially introduced Gemini Pro, it has been overshadowed by the wider availability of GPT-4. Nonetheless, Gemini Ultra aims to rectify this, boasting enhanced capabilities across various benchmarks in text, image, audio, and video processing.

Sissie Hsiao, a spokesperson for Google, emphasized Gemini’s significance as more than just a model but as a comprehensive ecosystem driving innovation across products and platforms. Hsiao highlighted Gemini Ultra 1.0’s multifaceted capabilities and its ability to engage in conversations involving images, among other features.

As part of the rebranding, Google has introduced a new pricing structure. Users seeking access to Gemini Ultra 1.0 can sign up for the $20 Google One AI Premium plan, which offers additional benefits alongside access to the advanced model. This includes features such as exclusive Google Photos editing tools, premium Google Meet video capabilities, and enhanced Google Calendar scheduling.

While the $20 monthly subscription fee aligns with prevailing market rates for advanced AI chat tools, Google’s existing infrastructure allows it to provide added value to users without significantly increasing costs. Additionally, existing Google One subscribers will receive a two-month free trial upon upgrading to the AI Premium plan.

In summary, Google’s rebranding of Bard to Gemini marks a significant milestone in the evolution of AI language models. With the introduction of Gemini Ultra and a revamped pricing structure, Google is poised to set new standards in AI-driven conversational experiences.

Source: By Noel Nortei


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