Google is going all in on Gemini, the high-profile AI language model the tech giant launched late last year, as it races to catch up to OpenAI’s popular ChatGPT.
The company on Thursday announced several changes to its generative AI product line, including a rebranding of its Bard chatbot. The service will now be called Gemini, after the AI model itself. Another service called Duet AI, which allows people to use generative AI in Google’s productivity products like Docs and Gmail, will also be renamed to Gemini for Google Workspace.
Google also announced the launch of Gemini Advanced, a premium service that uses the most powerful version of the Gemini model to perform tasks like advanced coding and tailored tutoring, by creating lesson plans or sample quizzes. Google describes it as being “far more capable at reasoning” than its predecessors. The service will only be available as part of a new $19.99 per month AI subscription plan on Google One, a bundled offering which also includes extra storage on Google apps. The new AI plan is double the monthly cost of the previous top-tier Google One plan.
Finally, Google is debuting a new Gemini app for its Android mobile operating system. It’s intended to allow people to access the assistant more easily from their phones, and will be available through the existing Google app on iPhones.
The Gemini product blitz and name change underscores a fast evolving AI strategy for Google, which was caught flat-footed by the success of ChatGPT in late 2022. The frenzy triggered a “code red” inside the company and prompted long absent cofounder Sergey Brin, to begin coding again. Last April, the company merged its two research labs, Google Brain and DeepMind, which had previously been notoriously distinct, in an attempt to drive product development forward.
“Bard is the way to talk to our cutting edge models. And Gemini is our cutting edge model,” Sissie Hsaio, a Google vice president, said of the name change during a briefing with reporters. “We just wanted to simplify for people and make it really clear that this is really Gemini that consumers are engaging with.”
The debut of Gemini Advanced also marks the release of the most powerful version of Gemini, called Ultra. In December, Google said it was releasing three versions of Gemini with varying levels of sophistication. The smallest version, Gemini Nano, is being used for features on Google’s flagship Pixel 8 Pro smartphone. The mid-level version, Gemini Pro, currently powers Bard (the chatbot being rebranded as Gemini).
The AI premium plan also illustrates Google’s growing emphasis on subscriptions. Last week, Google CEO Sundar Pichai said Google One, which will now include Gemini Advanced, is nearing 100 million subscribers. He noted the company’s subscription business as a whole generated more than $15 billion in revenue last year, though he didn’t break the figures down by service. Meanwhile, YouTube CEO Neal Mohan told Forbes in an interview last week that YouTube Music and Premium, the video giant’s paid services, have a combined 100 million subscribers and that the services had finally become a “meaningful part” of YouTube’s business.
This article was first published on forbes.com and all figures are in USD.