The release builds on last week’s introduction of Gemini, Google’s next-generation generative AI models. The current iteration allows partners to develop an array of applications, from customer service chatbots and inventory queries to marketing.
Gemini Pro is available for free, at least for now. Fees will eventually follow, but Google promised that they will be set at competitive prices.
This seems feasible, given the company’s claims that this AI system costs less to run than PaLM 2, its previous AI tech launched in June. Also, when Google’s DeepMind team unveiled the AI models, it positioned Gemini Pro as a “lite” version alongside Gemini Ultra, the flagship model, and Gemini Nano, which was adapted for smartphones. This nomenclature suggests that the AI release for Google Cloud is more of a taste of what’s to come, rather than the full-powered offering, which is expected in 2024.
Even if Gemini Pro is just an appetizer, it’s easy to see how brands could make a meal of it.
According to a Google Cloud blog post penned by Thomas Kurian, chief executive officer of GC, this is “multimodal” AI that can “generalize and seamlessly understand, operate across and combine different types of information, including text, code, audio, image and video, in the same way humans see, hear, read, listen, and talk about many different types of information simultaneously.”
Ultimately, the release furthers Google’s AI effort as part of its Vertex AI enterprise development platform. But it’s one piece in a rapidly expanding, yet somehow cohesive environment encompassing “super-scalable AI infrastructure, Vertex AI and Duet AI assistive agents for Workspace and Google Cloud,” wrote Kurian. He described it as a “unified AI stack” built to work together.
Gemini is a crucial part of the mix, “[as] our most flexible model yet — able to efficiently run on everything from data centers to mobile devices,” the company wrote. But it’s far from the only tool.
Indeed, Google introduced a new version of its AI text-to-image generation program, Imagen 2, on Wednesday as well. The upgrade “delivers improved photorealism, text rendering and logo generation capabilities, so you can easily create images with text overlays and generate logos.” Internally, its AI powers features across Google’s entire lineup of ecosystems and products, from Google Play and Android to YouTube, Gmail, Google Maps and search — including the AI apparel try-ons that launched in June.
The resulting impact on sectors like fashion, beauty and retail can’t be overestimated. That could, or rather should, matter quite a lot to Google, as it works to distinguish itself from the broader efforts of competitors like Microsoft and its OpenAI-based generative AI. In any case, with this latest GC update, and the upcoming arrival of of the full Gemini suite, 2024 is shaping up to be an AI-packed new year.