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Google releases AI-powered chatbot and voice assistant Gemini

Google releases AI-powered chatbot and voice assistant Gemini

First, there were talking digital assistants like Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant. Then there were online chatbots like ChatGPT and Google Bard. Now both are merging.

On Thursday, Google introduced Gemini, a smartphone app that behaves like a talking digital assistant as well as a conversational chatbot. Responding to voice and text requests, it can answer questions, write poetry, draw pictures, draft emails, analyze personal photos and set timers or answer calls. Can take other actions like making a call.

Available immediately to English speakers in more than 150 countries and territories, including the United States, Gemini replaces Bard and the Google Assistant. It is based on artificial intelligence technology that the company has been developing since the beginning of last year.

Google said the new app is designed to perform a variety of tasks, including acting as a personal tutor, helping computer programmers with coding tasks, and even preparing job seekers for interviews.

Sissi Hsiao said, “It can help you role-play in different scenarios.” Google vice president in charge of the company's Google Assistant unit, during a briefing with reporters.

When ChatGPIT arrived from OpenAI in late 2022, surprising the public with the way it answered questions, wrote term papers, and generated computer code, Google found itself playing catch-up. Like other tech giants, the company had spent years developing similar technology, but had never released a product as advanced as ChatGPT.

(The New York Times sued OpenAI and its partner Microsoft in December, claiming copyright infringement of news content related to the AI ​​system.)

Google released its own chatbot, Bard, in March despite mediocre reviews. In the weeks that followed, the company merged its two major AI labs – Google Brain and DeepMind – and announced that the combined lab was developing new AI technology called Gemini.

Gemini is what researchers call a large language model, or LLM, a mathematical system that can learn skills by analyzing vast amounts of data, including books, computer programs and online chatting. By identifying patterns in all that text, an LLM can learn to generate the text itself. This means it can write poetry, generate computer code and even hold conversations.

There is also a possibility of mistakes being made in this. This may lead to getting the facts wrong or “hallucinating” – making things up.

Gemini is a “multimodal” system, meaning it can respond to both images and sounds. After analyzing a math problem that involved graphs, shapes, and other images, it could answer the question just like a high school student would.

In December, Google used a limited version of this technology to upgrade Bard. Now, the company has dropped the Bard name and is releasing a more powerful version of the technology through the Gemini app, available on Android phones and the web. A version for iPhones will be coming “in the coming weeks,” Google said.

Google created a free but limited version of the Gemini app. A more powerful version – called Gemini Advanced and based on a version of Google's Ultra language model – is available for a $19.99 monthly subscription. Google offers a two-month free trial.

Google has released benchmark test results claiming that Ultra outperformed OpenAI's latest technology, GPT-4, in several key areas, including generating computer code and summarizing news articles.

The Gemini app can also generate, analyze and respond to images. For example, users can upload a photo from their Super Bowl party and ask the app to generate a caption.

Google also said it would offer similar technology through Google Workspace and Google Cloud business services. This will allow customers to use the technology with apps like Gmail and Google Docs.

If users download Gemini, the new app will replace Google Assistant on Android phones. Like Google Assistant, it can respond to voice commands, although it also responds to text commands.

Google said it will also continue to offer and improve Google Assistant.

Last year, OpenAI released a similar version of its ChatGPT chatbot that can respond to voice commands. Most industry insiders believe that the AI ​​technology that drives chatbots like ChatGPT will merge with and replace digital assistants like Apple's Siri and Amazon's Alexa.

https://static01.nyt.com/images/2024/02/08/multimedia/08bard-ultra-ztbh/08bard-ultra-ztbh-facebookJumbo.jpg

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