Google rebrands Bard as Gemini, launches AI subscription plan

Google Bard, the Alphabet-owned company’s equivalent to ChatGPT, has been rebranded as Google Gemini with the company also releasing the first full version of its Gemini Ultra large language model to the public.

Google is also folding the Duet AI features in Google Workspace into the Gemini brand, and launching a standalone app for Android devices via which users can set Gemini as their default assistant.

Gemini will be accessible via the Google app on iOS, but Apple does not let users change their default assistant away from Siri – which is promised to bring significant AI-powered innovations with iOS 18.

In a blog post, Google chief exec Sundar Pichai said that the comapny had been “investing deeply in AI as the single best way to improve Search” and its other products.

Starting in the US, customers can subscribe to Gemini Advanced, which includes access to a more powerful AI model and provides users with two terabytes of cloud storage (typically $9.99 per month). The Google One AI Premium plan will also provide access to Gemini in Gmail and Google Workspace.

The subscription offering effectively serves as Google’s answer to Microsoft-backed OpenAI’s ChatGPT Plus, which provides access to the newer GPT-4 model, the ability to browse, create, and use GPTs, and gives access to additional tools like DALL·E, Browsing, Advanced Data Analysis and more. Chat GPT Plus runs at the same price as Google’s One AI Premium plan.

Pichai added: “These latest updates reflect how we’re approaching innovation boldly, and advancing and deploying this technology responsibly. And we’re already well underway training the next iteration of our Gemini models — so stay tuned for more.”

In the blog post, he said that the company will share more details on what is coming for developers and cloud customers “next week”.

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