Google Gemini Assistant (fka Google Bard)

by Stephen M. Walker II, Co-Founder / CEO

Breaking News: Google rebrands Bard as Gemini

Google is renaming its Bard AI to Gemini, with updates rolling out next week. The update includes a revamped user interface aimed at enhancing readability and simplifying use.

Gemini will introduce a new chat option and an "ultra 1.0" version. It will integrate with Google services like Gmail, Maps, and YouTube, and support text, voice, or image interactions on both Android and iOS platforms.

This rebranding signifies Google's dedication to making its AI technologies readily accessible. Initially, Gemini will launch in English in the US, with plans to expand to Japanese, Korean, and English in other global markets, excluding the UK, Switzerland, and European Economic Area countries.

Canada will see its launch on February 7, marking its debut in a major region previously unsupported.

Gemini Pro and Ultra Capabilities

Gemini is Google's new and powerful artificial intelligence model that has been integrated into its flagship generative AI chatbot, Bard. Compared to the previous version of Bard, Gemini brings several new features and improvements:

  • Multimodal Capabilities: Gemini is built to be multimodal, meaning it can understand, operate across, and combine different types of information including text, code, audio, image, and video. This is a significant upgrade from Bard, which was primarily text-based.

  • Advanced Reasoning and Understanding: Gemini Pro, the version of Gemini integrated into Bard, offers more advanced reasoning, planning, and understanding capabilities. This is a significant improvement over the previous version of Bard, which was primarily focused on open-ended communication and generating creative text formats.

  • Better Performance in Complex Subjects: Gemini is especially good at explaining reasoning in complex subjects like math and physics.

What is Google Bard?

Google Bard is an AI-powered chatbot developed by Google, designed to simulate human-like conversations using natural language processing and machine learning. It was introduced as Google's response to the success of OpenAI's ChatGPT and is part of a broader wave of generative AI tools that have been transforming digital communication and content creation.

Bard was initially based on Google's LaMDA (Language Model for Dialogue Applications) and later updated to include the PaLM (Pathways Language Model) 2, which is Google's most advanced large language model as of its unveiling at Google I/O 2023. The integration of the Gemini model in December 2023 further enhanced Bard's capabilities, enabling more advanced reasoning, planning, and understanding.

The chatbot can be integrated into websites, messaging platforms, or applications to provide natural language responses. It also incorporates Google Lens, allowing users to upload images in addition to written prompts, making Bard's responses more visual.

Google Bard was released on March 21, 2023, initially to a limited number of users in the U.S. and UK. On May 10, 2023, Google made Bard available to the general public in over 180 countries and territories. As of the last update, Google Bard is a free service, and there has been no indication from Google that it will charge for its use.

Bard's conversational AI service is meant to pull information from the web to provide fresh, high-quality responses, and it can be used to simplify complex topics, inspire creativity, and serve as a launchpad for curiosity. Despite its capabilities, there are ongoing concerns about the impact of generative AI on society, including issues related to copyright and job displacement.

In terms of availability, Bard supports multiple languages and is accessible in numerous countries, aiming to provide a collaborative AI service that enhances Google Search rather than replacing it.

How does Google Bard compare to other AI assistants?

Google Bard and other AI chatbots like OpenAI's ChatGPT and Microsoft's Bing Chat have similar functionalities, but they differ in several key aspects.

Data Source and Information Retrieval Google Bard continually draws information from the internet, providing the latest information. This feature allows Bard to provide accurate and real-time responses to user prompts. In contrast, ChatGPT's sources end with 2021 data, limiting its ability to provide newer research and information.

User Interface and Experience Bard has a user-friendly interface and is better suited for research. It can read its responses out loud, perform web searches faster than ChatGPT, and retrieve images from the web. However, its voice is described as robotic, and the reliability of its sources can vary. ChatGPT, on the other hand, is efficient at generating and summarizing text requests and is better at generating long-form articles and emails.

Integration and Customization Bard provides a fairly isolated experience, with no plugins or integrations other than with Google apps. In contrast, ChatGPT offers back-and-forth voice dialogue on its mobile app and has various plugins and integrations.

Creativity and Text Generation ChatGPT is considered better at creative tasks and generating text, such as long-form articles and emails. Bard, while efficient at answering questions with relevant information, is seen as less creative than ChatGPT.

Speed Google Bard is known for its speed in providing responses. While it's not faster than ChatGPT Plus, it can be faster at giving responses than Bing and the free GPT-3.5 version of ChatGPT.

Privacy Google stores a user's Bard conversations in their Google account for up to 18 months, which can be changed to three or 36 months in their Bard Activity settings. These conversations can also appear in searches, raising potential privacy concerns.

User Base As of May 2023, about 180.5 million people use ChatGPT, and Google Bard had approximately 146.6 million users. However, the demand for Google Bard could increase with the rollout of "Bard Advanced" in 2024.

In conclusion, both Google Bard and ChatGPT have their strengths and weaknesses. The choice between the two depends on the specific needs and preferences of the user.

How Google's Bard Works (and Why It's Different)

Google's Bard is an experimental, conversational AI chat service designed to function similarly to other AI chatbots like ChatGPT. However, the key difference lies in Bard's ability to pull information directly from the web, making it a more dynamic and up-to-date source of information.

Bard is powered by Google's Pathways Language Model 2 (PaLM 2), which is trained on a large dataset of text, code, and images. This allows Bard to handle advanced reasoning tasks, multilingual translation, and natural language generation. Bard is designed to be a helpful collaborator, generating different types of text formats, answering open-ended and challenging questions, and even translating text.

Bard's integration with Google apps and services is another unique feature. It can find and show relevant information from Google tools like Gmail, Docs, Drive, Google Maps, and YouTube, making it a more comprehensive and versatile tool. It can also be used to draft content, including cover letters, briefs, strategies, and emails.

Bard is also capable of voice-based interactions, image and video analysis, and multilingual responses. It can interact like a voice assistant, and with the integration of Google Lens, it can describe images or videos.

Bard is built on Transformer, a neural network architecture developed by Google Research, and competes with popular AI systems such as ChatGPT and AlphaCode AI. It's designed to be a direct interface to a Large Language Model (LLM), providing a complementary experience to Google Search.

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