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You can blame astrology for Google naming its AI Gemini

Google reveals why its LLM is called Gemini.

Published onMay 22, 2024

Google Gemini logo on smartphone stock photo (6)
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority
  • Google has revealed how it landed on the name Gemini for its AI model.
  • It appears astrology played a big part in coming up with the name.
  • Inspiration was also taken from the NASA moonshot program called Project Gemini.

Google first mentioned Gemini to the public during I/O 2023, which was later followed up by a launch that December. Since then, the AI model has spread throughout a vast majority of Google’s products. As a core part of Google’s business now, you may be wondering why they chose Gemini as the name. It appears there’s a two-pronged answer to that.

In a blog post, Google revealed how it landed on the name Gemini for its large language model (LLM). The name was apparently half inspired by science and half by astrology.

As the firm explains, Gemini is Latin for twins and the name of a constellation associated with the Greek mythical twins Castor and Pollux. Jeff Dean, Gemini’s co-technical lead, thought this name was apropos. Gemini’s key characteristics in astrology are having a dual-natured personality, the ability to adapt, the ability to connect with a wide range of people, and the ability to see things from multiple perspectives.

In addition, this also represents DeepMind and the Brain team from Google Research. These teams were brought together for the purpose of accelerating Gemini’s progress.

The other half of the story is related to NASA’s moonshot program, which started in 1965 and ended in 1968. This program was called Project Gemini, and it involved a two-person spacecraft designed to test equipment and techniques for keeping astronauts in space for extended periods ahead of the Apollo mission. Fun fact: the spacecraft was powered by a Titan rocket, and Titan was the placeholder title for Gemini.

In short, it seems Google always had space in mind when thinking about its LLM. It’s interesting to learn what the company was thinking when it came up with the name Gemini. Although we probably would have left out the part about astrology.

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