RIP Bard! Hello Gemini Ultra!!

RIP Bard! Hello Gemini Ultra!!

The battle for the smartest AI-chatbots is warming up. Barely days after Microsoft’s Satya Nadella wondered where the competition for OpenAI’s ChatGPT was, Google launched the Gemini Ultra, its most capable large language model yet. And, in doing so, it gave Google Bard a quiet burial, retiring the name and rebranding the family of foundation models as Gemini. 

The company launched Gemini on December 6, 2023, and immediately saw some controversy erupt as users questioned the veracity of its promotional video claiming superpowers. However, this time the company is offering a paid experience where users shelling out $20 a month premium Google One account can feel the impact of its GenAI based chatbot and beyond.  

Here’s what Google has on offer

There’s a two-month free trial built in the offer that also includes 2TB of storage and all the rest of the features that comes with Google One, such as access to Gemini in Google Workspace apps like Docs, Slides, Sheets and Meet. Now, where does that leave the Duet AI brand? Google has buried that too. 

In addition, Google will also be launching the new Gemini app for Android and iOS. In the Android ecosystem, the new Gemini app will replace Google Assistant. The Gemini Advanced is scheduled to be available across 150 countries though for now it will only speak English with Japanese and Korean scheduled to follow soon. 

However, developers have to wait awhile

For now, Google isn’t providing access to the Ultra model for developers and says it will do so in the coming weeks. When Gemini came into the picture, it brought only the Pro model through Bard, performing at around the same level as GPT-3.5. All the development around also worked in sync with this capability and seemed below par with GPT-4. 

At that time, Google had indicated that a paid model would be out in 2024 after private tests. “Gemini Ultra 1.0 is a model that sets the state of the art across a wide range of benchmarks across text, image, audio and video,” says Google’s Sissie Hsiao, VP and GM for Google Assistant and Bard (Gemini). 

“For Google, Gemini is more than just the models. It’s really a shift in how we think about the state-of-the-art technology and the entire ecosystem that we’re building on it, from products that affect billions of users, to the APIs and platforms that developers and businesses use to innovate,” the official noted during a media meet organized for the launch. 

From a user perspective, there won’t be major changes as Bard switched to Gemini Pro so those using Google’s services for free can do so. However, those who are ready to fork out $20 a month, the company offers Gemini Ultra 1.0 model, which as of now remains untested. Maybe, OpenAI does have a challenger here! 

Here’s how the Google official explained it: “With access to our Ultra 1.0 model, Gemini Advanced is far more capable at highly complex tasks with a range of applications like coding, logical reasoning, following nuanced instructions and creative collaboration, amongst many others. Not only does Gemini Advanced allow you to write longer prompts, it can also better understand the context of your previous prompts.” 


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