The 10 Biggest Things We Learned About Google’s New Gemini AI

The 10 Biggest Things We Learned About Google’s New Gemini AI

Google launched Gemini, its new supercharge AI model, on Wednesday, a technology that will touch on nearly every part of the search giant’s business. The company has spent the last year lagging behind OpenAI, its chief artificial intelligence rival. But Gemini is Google’s long-anticipated attempt to prove its AI is top of class, and that it’s still the player to beat in the next era of Silicon Valley.

Gemini came with a pages-long list of announcements, with business updates, new tools and features, tech specs for experts to pour over, and updates that are already live on consumer-facing products.

Gemini is live on Bard, starting now

Photo: gguy / (Shutterstock)

You’ll have to wait a while before you get to try out Gemini’s most powerful capabilities, but a mid-tier version of the model is already live on Bard, the company’s chatbot. Google called this Bard’s biggest update yet. According to the company, it brings the often-overlooked product in line with the free version of ChatGPT, which runs on a model called GPT-3.5.

Gemini comes in three flavors

Google announced three different versions of the new AI. Gemini Ultra is Google’s most powerful model, pitched as a competitor to OpenAI’s GPT-4. Gemini Pro, currently running on Bard, is a mid-range model powered to beat out GPT-3.5, the baseline version of ChatGPT. Last is Gemini Nano, a more efficient model built to run on mobile devices.

Gemini Ultra is the most interesting prospect here, but only a short list of people will get their hands on it. For now, Ultra is only coming to hand-picked testers, safety experts, and major business partners. The rest of us won’t see Gemini until sometime “early next year.”

Pixel 8 Pros get Gemini immediately, sort of

Photo: Craig Russell / Shutterstock (Shutterstock)

The Pixel 8 Pro is the first smartphone to get Gemini Nano. It won’t do much at first. Gemini Nano now powers the Summarize feature on Android’s Recorder app on Pixel 8 Pros. Google says the AI will also power Android’s Smart Reply feature on the Pixel 8 Pro, but only if you’re using the Google keyboard, and only in WhatsApp. The company says Gemini is coming to more messaging apps and other parts of the operating system next year.

Gemini is better than anything OpenAI has on deck, at least according to Google

Google is generally reserved when it takes shots at competitors, but the company didn’t mince words. According to Google, Gemini has OpenAI beat on almost every measure.

“With a score of over 90%, Gemini is the first A.I. model to outperform human experts on the industry standard benchmark MMLU,” said Eli Collins, Vice President of Product at Google DeepMind, speaking at a press conference. “It’s our largest and most capable A.I. model.” MMLU, short for Massive Multitask Language Understanding, measures AI capabilities using standard tests in a combination of 57 subjects such as math, physics, history, law, medicine, and ethics.

“Gemini’s performance also exceeds current state-of-the-art results on 30 out of 32 widely used industry benchmarks,” Collins said.

Google’s launching a paid version of Bard

Photo: Ascannio / (Shutterstock)

Gemini Pro is running on Bard right now, but if you want to chat with the best version of Google’s AI, you’ll have to pay. Google said it will launch a paid tier of Bard called Bard Advanced, though the company declined to share details on pricing. The premium tier will come with access to Gemini Ultra and other still unannounced features.

OpenAI already does a tidy business with its ChatGPT Plus, which costs $US20 a month. Bard Advanced will open up a brand new revenue stream for Google that could be a winner in the long term.

Bard is getting a voice

Right now, the only modern chatbot that will speak to you is ChatGPT, and it’s mostly tight-lipped. You can also use voice chat on the ChatGPT mobile app, but there’s no “Hey ChatGPT” feature to call it up automatically.

That may change with Bard. Google says it’s adding Bard to Google Assistant sometime next year. It’s unclear exactly what that will look like, but at a Tuesday press conference, Google shared a video that featured Bard speaking to a user. When smart assistants like Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant get a truly capable AI engine, rather than the limited pre-canned responses we get today, it will revolutionize our relationship with AI.

Gemini will handle pictures, videos, and audio just as well as it handles text

Bard will do you physics homework now.

Google made a big deal about Gemini’s “multimodal” capabilities, “multimodal performance,” meaning it can comprehend different kinds of information such as text, images, video, audio, and more. According to the company, Google trained Gemini on a variety of mediums from the ground up, rather than taking it on after the chat features were up and running.

Google shared a video where a Gemini-powered Bard helps with a student’s physics homework starting with a photo of the assignment with handwritten questions. The AI then seamlessly transitions to written advice, complete with equations and step-by-step answers.

Gemini powers a new supercharged coding tool

Photo: jivacore / (Shutterstock)

Two years ago, Google launched AlphaCode, a robot code writer that was the first AI smart enough to be competitive in coding conferences. Computer engineers were among the earliest adopters of tools like ChatGPT, thanks to AI’s ability to translate ideas written in human language to machine-readable code.

Along with Gemini, Google’s releasing a new version of that tool called AlphaCode 2. According to the company, it “excels at solving competitive programming problems that go beyond coding to involve complex math and theoretical computer science.”

Gemini will hit every part of Google

Photo: JHVEPhoto / (Shutterstock)

Gemini isn’t just going to run Bard and on-device AI with Android phones; Google said the new model will be utilized across all of the company’s most important products, including Chrome, Search, Ads, and more. There’s no real timeline. Google would only say these products are getting Gemini power “in the coming months.”

Gemini will revamp Google’s Cloud business

One of Google’s biggest money makers is a side of the company you interact with every day, but one most people never think about. Google Cloud offers a variety of services for businesses, including data storage, data analytics and machine learning, and a set of management tools. A huge portion of the business world’s technology stack runs on Google Cloud, and Gemini is set to usher in the next era of the platform.

Along with the broader Gemini announcements, Google unveiled Cloud TPU v5e, a new computer chip built for AI that companies can harness remotely through Google Cloud. Building and training AI tools requires an enormous amount of processing power, and Google is setting itself up for success with chips optimized for the task — especially because it’s building its own AI models to run Cloud TPU v5e, which will encourage more people to choose Gemini over GPT-4 and other offerings. It’s wonky stuff, but it’s a sign that Google is making huge bets on its AI business.

The Cheapest NBN 50 Plans

It’s the most popular NBN speed in Australia for a reason. Here are the cheapest plans available.

At Gizmodo, we independently select and write about stuff we love and think you'll like too. We have affiliate and advertising partnerships, which means we may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. BTW – prices are accurate and items in stock at the time of posting.