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  • Writer's pictureSamiksha Jain

Google Rebrands Bard as Gemini, Offers Ultra AI in New Subscription

Google has updated its chatbot, previously known as Bard, to a new version called Gemini. This change comes with an offer where users can pay for enhanced AI capabilities. For $19.99 a month, U.S. customers can get Gemini Advanced, powered by a more sophisticated AI model called Ultra 1.0. Google, part of the bigger company Alphabet, announced this new subscription service.

With this subscription, users don't just get advanced AI features; they also receive two terabytes of cloud storage, which usually costs $9.99 a month. Plus, they will soon be able to use Gemini in Gmail and Google's set of productivity tools, like Docs and Sheets. This package is Google's big move to compete with Microsoft and its partnership with OpenAI, especially as these companies are all trying to attract users to their paid AI services.

This rivalry is heating up as customers now have multiple options for AI subscriptions. OpenAI's ChatGPT Plus kicked off this trend by offering early access to new AI models, and Microsoft has also introduced a similar $20-a-month subscription that includes AI features in programs like Word and Excel.

Google's Product Lead, Jack Krawczyk, mentioned that this subscription is designed to integrate with everyday work seamlessly, offering more than just access to an AI model. The goal is to provide top-tier generative AI technology that can create new content and find answers to complex questions not readily available online.

Google plans to leverage its massive Android user base to promote Gemini, allowing Android phone users to set Gemini as their default digital assistant. This can be accessed through an app, the power button, or by saying "Hey Google." According to Krawczyk, this makes accessing AI extremely easy. Gemini will also be available on the Google iPhone app.

As of now, Gemini Advanced is available in English in 150 countries. The rollout for smartphones will begin in the U.S. and expand to other regions like Asia-Pacific and Latin America next week, with additional language support for Japanese and Korean. Google is offering a two-month free trial for the subscription.

The name change to Gemini signifies a new phase in Google's AI development, marking what Krawczyk calls "the Gemini era," a step beyond what Bard represented. This initiative is part of Google's effort to stay competitive in the rapidly growing field of AI technology and services.


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