If you’ve been following Google for any amount of time, you know they are prone to having a myriad of products and confusing nomenclature. The company’s efforts in AI are the most recent example of this. After ChatGPT rocketed into the scene, Google launched their AI efforts under the Bard branding and they even announced a new Assistant with Bard on the way but it looks like Google has changed their mind and Bard is now officially a thing of the past. Google is now streamlining their AI efforts under a single brand: Gemini. Albeit a bit confusing, I think this move signals a shift in the company’s direction.
In a Keyword blog post on Thursday, Google officially announced a rebranding that consolidates their AI ventures under the Gemini name. This rebranding encompasses the transformation of Bard – Google’s chatbot – into Gemini, alongside the introduction of a dedicated Gemini app for Android users. Google Workspace’s Duet AI features will also be incorporated into the Gemini ecosystem, showcasing the company’s effort to create a cohesive AI experience. Furthermore, Google unveiled Gemini Ultra 1.0, the apex of its large language model offerings, making it accessible to the public.
In a nutshell, Gemini aims to democratize Google’s AI technology, making it readily accessible through mobile applications. Android users, in particular, can experience Gemini’s prowess by setting it as their default assistant, a move that subtly sidelines Google Assistant in favor of this new, more advanced AI entity. Although Google Assistant remains in the ecosystem, this emphasis on Gemini underscores Google’s belief in its capabilities and potential to fix the company’s digital assistant.
Sissie Hsiao, the lead for Bard (now Gemini) at Google, highlighted the significance of this transition, envisioning Gemini as a cornerstone in developing a truly comprehensive AI assistant. Hsiao says, “Gemini Advanced users will have access to expanded multimodal capabilities, more interactive coding features, deeper data analysis capabilities and more.”
Beyond Assistance: The Scope of Gemini
Gemini’s functionalities extend far beyond those of a standard digital assistant. It merges the capabilities of a chatbot with those of a search engine, promising an enriched user experience. Although an iOS dedicated app remains absent, iPhone users can still tap into Gemini’s features through the Google app, emphasizing its integral role within Google’s ecosystem. The introduction of a toggle allowing users to switch from traditional search to Gemini within the Google app signifies a pivotal change. It challenges the long-standing dominance of Google Search, suggesting that Gemini could become equally, if not more, crucial to Google’s future.
Introducing Gemini Advanced with Ultra 1.0 Model
For users seeking to get the most out of Gemini’s capabilities, Google has introduced Gemini Advanced with access to Ultra 1.0 through the Google One “AI Premium” plan. Priced competitively at $20 a month, this plan offers access to Gemini Advanced, along with 2TB of Google Drive storage and other Google One benefits. Google says Gemini Advanced sets a new benchmark in AI performance, boasting enhanced contextual understanding and extended conversation abilities, particularly in complex domains like coding and logical reasoning.
The consolidation of AI efforts under the Gemini brand marks a new era for Google, one that could redefine the company’s identity. With a deep investment in AI, Google is not just betting on a single project but is weaving AI into the fabric of its entire ecosystem. From improving search functionalities to enhancing Workspace productivity and Cloud services, AI is central to Google’s vision for the future.
As Google continues to innovate and expand its AI offerings, I think the Gemini era will be a transformative period not just for Google but for the entire tech industry. With an eye on responsible innovation and deployment, Google is not only setting new benchmarks but is also inviting developers and businesses to join in shaping the future of AI. As Gemini continues to evolve, its impact on productivity, creativity, and technological innovation is bound to be significant, heralding a new chapter in Google’s storied history.