Tue. Jul 23rd, 2024

Google just launched its Gemini AI model. Want to try it out for free? A version of the model, called Gemini Pro, is available inside of the Bard chatbot right now. Also, anyone with a Pixel 8 Pro can use a version of Gemini in their AI-suggested text replies with WhatsApp now, and with Gboard in the future.

Only a sliver of Gemini is currently available. Future releases are expected to include multimodal capabilities, where a chatbot processes multiple forms of input and produces outputs in different ways. Just the text-based version has been added to Bard.

Gemini is also only available in English, though Google plans to roll out support for other languages soon. As with previous generative AI updates from Google, Gemini is also not available in the European Union—for now.

Despite the premium-sounding name, the Gemini Pro update for Bard is free to use. With ChatGPT, you can access the older AI models for free as well, but you pay a monthly subscription to access the most recent model, GPT-4. Details on future plans for Gemini remain scarce. Google teased that its further improved model, Gemini Ultra, may arrive in 2024, and could initially be available inside an upgraded chatbot called Bard Advanced. No subscription plan has been announced yet, but for comparison, a monthly subscription to ChatGPT Plus with GPT-4 costs $20.

How to Access Google’s Gemini Pro

Do you already have a Google account? Using Gemini inside of Bard is as simple as visiting the website in your browser and logging in. Google does not allow access to Bard if you are not willing to create an account. Users of Google Workspace accounts may need to switch over to their personal email account to try Gemini.

Remember that all of this is technically an experiment for now, and you might see some software glitches in your chatbot responses. One of the current strengths of Bard is its integration with other Google services, when it actually works. Tag @Gmail in your prompt, for example, to have the chatbot summarize your daily messages, or tag @YouTube to explore topics with videos. Our previous tests of the Bard chatbot showed potential for these integrations, but there are still plenty of kinks to be worked out.

So how is the anticipated Gemini Ultra different from the currently available Gemini Pro model? According to Google, Ultra is its “most capable mode” and is designed to handle complex tasks across text, images, audio, video, and code. The smaller version of the AI model, fitted to work as part of smartphone features, is called Gemini Nano, and it’s available now in the Pixel 8 Pro for WhatsApp replies.

As you experiment with Gemini Pro in Bard, keep in mind the things you likely already know about chatbots, such as their reputation for lying. Not sure where to even start with your prompts? Check out our guide to crafting better prompts for Google’s Bard.

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