Initially unveiled to rival OpenAI’s ChatGPT, Google Bard has been on a rapid growth trajectory since its launch in February 2023. And with brand-based transformations making headlines this month, it seems there’s only more competition and capabilities to come. Vapour CEO, Tim Mercer, unpicks the latest changelog and explores what’s to come for the generative AI model in 2024.

Hot on the heels of media speculation — spurred by noted app developer and occasional information leaker, Dylan Roussel, on X — Google officially announced Bard’s rebrand to Gemini this month. The new-look platform coordinates with its multi-modal AI model of the same name, which was rolled out in December last year, and claims to have broken ground by outperforming human experts on Massive Multitask Language Understanding (MMLU).

Why has Google Bard rebranded to Gemini?

Since its debut, Google’s AI tool has introduced a number of enhancements, including the ability to generate images from text. Now, in leveraging the name of the Large Language Model (LLM) powering the AI chatbot, the global giant looks to better reflect the advanced tech at its core, while curbing the confusion surrounding the growing number of AI-powered products in its portfolio. This includes, for example, Google’s Duet AI collaboration tools for Google Workspace.

What other changes will Gemini bring?

Beyond the name change, Google has evolved Gemini’s User Interface (UI) to reduce visual distractions, improve legibility, and simplify the navigation for consumers. The introduction of the gemini.google.com website domain marks a true ‘clean slate’ launch too. 

The chatbot will also launch Gemini Advanced, a paid version which utilises a more powerful generative AI model called Gemini Ultra, instead of Gemini Pro as standard. Rolling out in 150 countries to start, it’s set to be better at complex coding, logical reasoning, and creative collaboration queries. In the future, it will also grow its multi-modal capabilities, and be able to analyse more data simultaneously.

While core features of the standard plan remain intact, a new mobile app for Android will offer more streamlined access to Gemini for on-the-go queries too, as well as an option to replace Google Assistant. But with the former not yet capable of performing on-device tasks — despite its conversational slant and multi-modal capabilities — it’s unlikely to steal the march just yet.

A recent article from Computer World summarises the differences, stating that “the real problem with Gemini as the Android assistant is that Google's forgotten why a phone assistant actually matters — and what we, as actual users in the real world, need from such a service. Plain and simple, using Gemini in place of Google Assistant feels like having a square peg awkwardly forced into a round hole.”

Charting for growth in 2024 and beyond

Google isn’t the only AI titan to make such leaps, however. Competition is rife among Microsoft, Open AI, and several burgeoning AI startups right now too. It was only last month that Microsoft unveiled a slew of Copilot updates, including supercharged subscriptions with its Pro offering and the ability to create your own Copilot GPTs. Meanwhile, new embedding models and API updates are making their way to OpenAI’s ChatGPT.

Therefore, it comes as no surprise the generative AI market is projected to reach $1.3 trillion by 2032.

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