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Google rebrands Bard to Gemini, launches a paid version based on a more powerful AI model

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A year ago to the day Google announced Bard – its AI-powered ChatGPT rival. Bard was powered by the LaMDA model, but Google switched to Gemini in December. Now the service will adopt the name of the model that powers it. Goodbye, Bard. Hello, Gemini.

Gemini is now powered by the Gemini Pro 1.0 model. It is available in over 230 countries and knows over 40 languages. This is available through a web interface – here’s the link – but you can also use the new Gemini app.

It’s a chat bot and you can talk to it over text or voice. However, Gemini is “mulit-modal”, meaning that you can also give it a photo as input or ask it to generate an image.

Gemini is free to use, but as of today it is the tier-2 solution – Google also unveiled Gemini Advanced, powered by Gemini Ultra 1.0. After a free 2-month trial, Advanced will cost you $20/€22/£19/₹1,950 for the Google One AI Premium Plan.

This includes 2TB of storage and other Google One Premium benefits (One Premium is normally $10). Soon Google will enable Gemini in Gmail, Google Docs and other services too (this was initially called “Duet AI”). Gemini Advanced is available in 150+ countries starting today but only in English (this will be expanded over time).

You can download the Gemini app for Android and iOS (here it’s part of the Google app).

On Android, Gemini is supplanting the Google Assistant. You activate it the same way, saying “Hey Google” or pressing the power button or however else you do it. You can ask it to summarize an article that you are reading or to create a caption for a photo. The old voice control features – setting timers, making calls, controlling smart home devices – will continue to work through Gemini.

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