'Bard' No More: Google's AI Chatbot Gets the 'Gemini' Treatment

Google Bard has a new name and a new "Advanced" for-pay version.

The AI chatbot is now called "Gemini," taking the name of Google's AI model that launched two months ago. At that time, Google touted Gemini as its "largest and most capable AI model," releasing it in three sizes: Ultra, the largest; Pro, the all-purpose model; and Nano, the smallest.

The move to rename Bard to Gemini reflects the work Google has done to improve the chatbot's innards, indicated Google CEO Sundar Pichai in a blog post Thursday. "Bard has been the best way for people to directly experience our most capable models," he wrote. "To reflect the advanced tech at its core, Bard will now simply be called Gemini."

Google also introduced a more advanced version of the chatbot called, appropriately, "Gemini Advanced." Previously, the Gemini chatbot (then called Bard) ran only the Pro model. That version of the chatbot still exists, but as the less feature-rich counterpart to the new Gemini Advanced chatbot, which runs the Ultra model.

Gemini Advanced is "far more capable at reasoning, following instructions, coding, and creative collaboration" than the base Gemini chatbot version, said Pichai. "For example, it can be a personal tutor, tailored to your learning style. Or it can be a creative partner, helping you plan a content strategy or build a business plan."

Users will have to pay a $20 monthly fee to use Gemini Advanced. Besides getting access to the Ultra-powered chatbot, monthly subscribers will be able to use Gemini in other Google apps like Gmail and Docs, as well as have first dibs on new features like improved multimodal, coding and analysis capabilities.

While still in version 1.0, Gemini Ultra has already surpassed several key milestones, noted Pichai, saying that it's the "the first to outperform human experts on MMLU (massive multitask language understanding), which uses a combination of 57 subjects -- including math, physics, history, law, medicine and ethics -- to test knowledge and problem-solving abilities."

However, he added, Google is "already well underway training the next iteration of our Gemini models -- so stay tuned for more!"

About the Author

Gladys Rama (@GladysRama3) is the editorial director of Converge360.