Google brings artist formerly known as Bard, into Gemini era; Sundar Pichai says supports ‘entire ecosystem’

Google has rebranded its Bard chatbot as Gemini and also unveiled a new artificial intelligence (AI) system behind it. Now termed Gemini, the chatbot offers consumers the option to enhance its reasoning capabilities through a paid subscription model for the Gemini Advanced version. In effect, Gemini Advanced offers the best of Google’s AI features in a single place, but you will need to subscribe to the new Google One AI Premium plan.

CEO Sundar Pichai, in his blog, said, “The version with Ultra will be called Gemini Advanced, a new experience far more capable at reasoning, following instructions, coding, and creative collaboration. For example, it can be a personal tutor, tailored to your learning style. Or it can be a creative partner, helping you plan a content strategy or build a business plan.”

To get Gemini Advanced, subscription for US customers is $19.99 a month and this includes a more powerful Ultra 1.0 AI model. And what comes at that cost? Two terabytes of cloud storage that typically costs $9.99 monthly. In addition, access to Gemini in Gmail and Google’s productivity suite will be provided.

What caused the name change? Reuters quoted Product Lead Jack Krawczyk as saying that Google’s AI approach had matured, bringing “the artist formerly known as Bard,” into “the Gemini era.”

He added, “Bard has been the best way for people to directly experience our most capable models. To reflect the advanced tech at its core, Bard will now simply be called Gemini. It’s available in 40 languages on the web, and is coming to a new Gemini app on Android and on the Google app on iOS.”

About the overarching span of Gemini, Pichai said, “Gemini is evolving to be more than just the models. It supports an entire ecosystem — from the products that billions of people use every day, to the APIs and platforms helping developers and businesses innovate.”

Consumers can access unique answers

Krawczyk said the most capable generative AI technology can conjure new content on command and handle queries where no obvious answer exists online.

How to access

The company said Android users can opt into Gemini as the default digital aide on their phones, accessing it through an app, the power button or by saying “Hey Google.” Gemini is coming to the Google iPhone app as well, he added.

Pichai also hinted at more such advanced models being rolled out. He said, “These latest updates reflect how we’re approaching innovation boldly, and advancing and deploying this technology responsibly. And we’re already well underway training the next iteration of our Gemini models — so stay tuned for more!”

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