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What is Google’s Gemini AI (formerly Bard)? Here's everything you need to know

Google is late to the chatbot party with Bard, so does it stand a chance against ChatGPT?
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Published onFebruary 23, 2024

gemini introduction

Google has renamed Bard to Gemini, an AI chatbot capable of creating graphics, the tool has advanced significantly since its first introduction.

Bard’s first performance was deemed inadequate on many occasions. Users found it difficult to get the chatbot to deliver proper information or simply follow along with a discussion without experiencing hallucinations, even at its dreadful initial debut and formal launch.

However, since then, Google has significantly improved Bard, renaming it Gemini in honour of Gemini Pro, the large language model (LLM) that powers it. Not the Bard of a year ago, but the Gemini you can use now is capable of producing graphics, having productive discussions on par with ChatGPT, and integrating seamlessly with Google Workspace.

After PaLM 2 language model, which was launched in May, Google claims that Gemini is its largest, most powerful, and most adaptable AI model to date. According to the business, Gemini outperforms top AI models in 30 of the 32 benchmark tests that measure language, math, reasoning, and other metrics.

But what exactly separates Google’s Gemini from the other ChatGPT alternatives you can use today? Here’s everything you need to know.

What is Google’s Gemini AI?

gemini google ai

Google’s Gemini is a conversational AI chatbot, similar to ChatGPT and Bing Chat. It relies on generative AI technology, which means it can create brand new text that has never existed before.

You may make use of Gemini’s capacity to handle and comprehend a variety of data kinds, including text, graphics, and audio, depending on your project. For example, Gemini may be used to analyse and produce multimedia material in a content production programme.

Try using Gemini to see how it best suits your requirements. To achieve the best results, you might need to change the parameters, give new kinds of input data, or apply the outputs in novel ways.

Gemini is Google's most capable and general model yet, with state-of-the-art performance across many leading benchmarks

In its announcement blog post, Google said Bard will use a fine-tuned version of Gemini Pro for more advanced reasoning, planning, understanding and more. This is the biggest upgrade to Bard since it launched.

Beyond simple questions, you can also ask for opinions like “Is piano or guitar easier to learn and how much practice does each need?” These open-ended questions can be difficult to answer even for a human, requiring at least a few minutes of research. Google says that Gemini can condense information from dozens of web pages into just a handful of paragraphs.

While Gemini may appear in mainstream Google products in the future, that’s not the case currently. For now, you’ll need to visit a specific website to access Gemini, similar to ChatGPT.

How does Google Gemini work?

Gemini AI GPT

As mentioned earlier, Google’s Gemini chatbot shares some similarities with ChatGPT. Both use a large language model at their core and have been optimized for open-ended conversations. However, they do not use the same model — ChatGPT uses GPT-3.5 and GPT-4, while Gemini uses a whole suite of language models, each with different capabilities and purposes.

Here’s a breakdown of the different language models within the Gemini umbrella:

1. Bard: A large language model built on top of the Gemini family of models, particularly the Gemini Pro model. This means Gemini uses a combination of various machine learning techniques and algorithms to understand and generate text.

2. Other Gemini models: There are other, non-publicly available models within the Gemini suite, each tailored for specific tasks like code generation or image analysis. These models use different architectures and training data depending on their intended function.

Gemini uses different language models compared to ChatGPT, which may affect how well it works.

Following factual errors made during its demo, Gemini came under fire when it was revealed as the Bard last year. Since some users have learned to trust other AI tools, others have questioned if Google’s chatbot can be trusted and if it still gives incorrect or unsuitable answers.

Google has stated once more that Gemini is an experimental project that is prone to error. After introducing the AI chatbot with its previous model, LaMDA, and then updating it to PaLM 2, the firm upgraded Gemini to utilise its most recent LLM, Gemini Pro. Through connections with Gmail, Maps, Lens, and other services, the company has significantly improved the user experience.

What is LLM?

Imagine a machine that can understand and generate human-like language. That’s an LLM, or Large Language Model! Trained on massive amounts of text and code, these AI marvels can do amazing things. They can write poems, answer your questions, translate languages, and even create new code.

Think of an LLM like a super-powered brain, soaking up information like a sponge and learning to process it in complex ways. Using intricate algorithms and deep learning, it can analyze vast amounts of data and generate responses tailored to your needs.

It's like having a personal language assistant with superpowers!

While LLMs are still in their early stages, they hold immense potential. From assisting with research to fueling creative writing, they’re poised to revolutionize how we interact with information and express ourselves. So, keep an eye on these language giants as they continue to evolve and shape the future of communication!

According to an older Google Research blog post, the company’s language models have three key objectives: quality, safety, and groundedness. In a nutshell, these goals help the chatbot generate responses that make logical sense and sound interesting in the context of a prompt. So for example, Gemini will never respond with something generic like “I see” or “I’m glad to hear that”.

To improve the factual accuracy score, Google has also given Gemini the ability to seek information from external sources. In other words, it can search the internet in real-time to augment its responses.

How to use Google Gemini AI?

gemini welcome page

Google has now opened up access to Gemini to the public, meaning you can now use it for free. The only requirement is a Google account, which you probably have already. And after a slow start, Gemini is now available in over 180 countries and dozens of languages.

So how does one get started? For now, you’ll have to visit gemini.google.com every single time. Google hasn’t created a smartphone app for the chatbot yet, although that may arrive at some point down the line.

Gemini is now globally available and free to use, just like ChatGPT.

You may wonder why Google hasn’t advertised Gemini as much even with all of these developments. It’s likely because Gemini will cost Google a lot of money in computational resources to operate. According to some estimates, each chatbot response will cost the company ten times as much as a regular search. Limiting Gemini’s visibility and usage to a small number of users could help the company scale these costs over time.

Gemini AI vs ChatGPT: How do they compare?

The biggest difference between Gemini and ChatGPT is that Google’s chatbot has access to live information on the internet. That’s unlike ChatGPT, which only has access to the text in its training data collected prior to 2021. You can use ChatGPT plugins to improve response accuracy, but that comes at a rather premium $20 per month cost.

Gemini may also fit into various non-search Google products like Android, Chrome OS, Gmail, Docs, and even the Chrome web browser in the future. Microsoft, for example, has already integrated Bing Chat into the Edge web browser, Skype chats, and the Teams app. Google, meanwhile, has only launched Duet AI for Workspace so far.

Google's Gemini chatbot only offers one major advantage over ChatGPT right now.

The other difference relates to their language capabilities — Gemini has given us our first taste of Google’s language models. So far, virtually all AI chatbots (including ChatGPT and Bing Chat) have relied on some variation of OpenAI’s GPT-3.5 and GPT-4 models instead. In our comparison of Gemini vs ChatGPT, we found that both chatbots perform well but ChatGPT does have the upper hand in many areas.

Most importantly, I’ve found that Google’s Gemini chatbot delivers shorter responses than ChatGPT. Google says this is intentional as it helps users find what they’re looking for faster. So if you need to write up a long essay or email, ChatGPT’s higher character limit may offer a better result. That said, Bing Chat did gain a “Creative” mode with longer responses so we hope Google follows suit in the future.


FAQs

Google has released its Gemini chatbot to the general public and anyone with an account can now use it.

If Google Gemini isn’t working, there are a few things you can do to fix it. Firstly, check if your internet connection is working, then see if Gemini is down for anyone else.