Goodbye Google Bard. Just about a year after its initial unveiling as a hurried attempt to rival OpenAI‘s ChatGPT, the tech giant is bidding adieu to the moniker and welcoming in Gemini, the flagship name of its suite of foundational models.
More significantly, the introduction of Gemini Ultra marks a pivotal moment, unveiling Google’s most powerful large language model to date.
Gemini Ultra 1.0
However, access to Gemini Ultra comes with a price tag. Google is offering it as part of a new $20 tier within Google One, complete with a two-month trial period. Subscribers not only gain access to Gemini Ultra but also receive 2TB of storage and the full suite of Google One features.
Moreover, they can leverage Gemini within various Google Workspace applications such as Docs, Slides, Sheets, and Meet. As part of this transition, Google is retiring the Duet AI brand, previously associated with Workspace AI features, and integrating it into the Gemini ecosystem.
Also read: 5 Best Free ChatGPT Alternatives
In addition to these changes, Google is rolling out a dedicated Gemini app for Android users and integrating it into the Google app for iOS. Android users can now opt to replace their Google Assistant with Gemini as well. For developers seeking API access to the Ultra model, Google has promised further details in the coming weeks.
Accessibility of Gemini Ultra
Gemini Advanced will be accessible in over 150 countries and territories, initially supporting only the English language. Japanese and Korean languages are slated to join the platform in the near future.
Upon the introduction of Gemini, Google initially unveiled the Gemini Pro model exclusively through Bard. However, the announcement of Gemini Pro, touted to perform comparably to GPT-3.5, felt somewhat lackluster given the subsequent widespread availability of GPT-4. Google hinted at the launch of Gemini Ultra, its flagship model, to consumers in early 2024 following a series of private tests. While the company did not explicitly state it at the time, it was understood that the Ultra model would be part of a paid subscription plan, initially referred to as Bard Advanced and later rebranded as Gemini Advanced.
During a press conference preceding the latest announcement, Google’s Sissie Hsiao emphasized, “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.” Hsiao highlighted that for Google, Gemini signifies more than just models; it represents a paradigm shift in how the company approaches cutting-edge technology and the entire ecosystem built around it, spanning products impacting billions of users and the APIs and platforms empowering developers and businesses to innovate.
Hsiao further explained that to signify the integration of its most advanced technology into Bard, Google chose to rename it Gemini. She humorously added that if Google were ever to introduce a more advanced model and opt for a name like Aries instead of Gemini Ultra Super Pro Max 3.0, the fate of Bard’s name would be uncertain, given Google’s vast branding capabilities.
Is (was) Bard good chatbot?
Despite Google’s commendation of Bard’s performance, many early users might have been disappointed with its results and subsequently did not return, necessitating a rebranding effort.
Bard has transitioned to Gemini Pro, meaning there are no significant changes for free users. However, those opting for the paid Gemini Advanced tier will gain access to the Gemini Ultra 1.0 model. As for the performance of Gemini Ultra 1.0, its true capabilities remain to be experienced firsthand, as Google remained somewhat vague during this week’s press conference.
According to Hsiao, “With access to our Ultra 1.0 model, Gemini Advanced is far more adept at handling highly complex tasks such as coding, logical reasoning, nuanced instructions, and creative collaboration, among others.” Gemini Advanced not only accommodates longer prompts but also grasps the context of preceding prompts. Notably, Gemini Ultra 1.0 is multi-model, enabling conversations about images and more.
How to access Gemini Ultra 1.0?
To access Ultra 1.0, users must enroll in the new $20 Google One AI Premium plan, which includes the benefits of the existing Google One Premium plan alongside access to the advanced model wherever Gemini is supported.
Additionally, users will soon access Gemini within Google Workspace, likely providing an experience akin to Microsoft Copilot, although Google hasn’t divulged specifics yet. At $20 per month, this aligns with the pricing of other advanced AI chat tools, including ChatGPT. Google’s advantage lies in its ability to integrate these features seamlessly, leveraging existing Google One storage plans.
Existing Google One subscribers can enjoy a complimentary two-month trial upon upgrading to the new AI Premium plan. So why not try it out? Users can actually compare the largest AI chatbots in the world and decide which is better.