Gemini – Google Assistant’s split personality

Gemini is the new name for Google’s DeepMind AI interface, formerly Bard. It is coming to Android, iOS and Google Assistant whether you want it or not.

Now, for the typical reader, Gemini won’t change much. It is not yet linked to Google Search and won’t be used unless you activate it via a long press on the power button, via Google Assistant or the App.

Initially, there are two versions – a Gemini Lite (if you will) for free and a Gemini Advanced included in a Google One AI Premium service for A$32.99 per month. That includes 2TB of cloud storage, future integration into Gmail/Docs and more.

Gemini is part of Google One AI Premium Subscription

This will enable a new overlay experience that offers easy access to Gemini and contextual help on your screen. You can, for instance, generate a caption for a picture you’ve just taken or ask questions about an article you’re reading. Many Google Assistant voice features will be available through the Gemini app — including setting timers, making calls and controlling your smart home devices — and we’re working to support more.

  • Gemini Advanced can be your tutor — creating step-by-step instructions, sample quizzes or back-and-forth discussions tailored to your learning style.
  • It can help you with more advanced coding scenarios, serving as a sounding board for ideas and helping you evaluate different coding approaches.
  • It can help digital creators go from idea to creation by generating fresh content, analysing recent trends and brainstorming improved ways to grow their audiences.

Google Blog here.

CyberShack’s view – Gemini and many other AIs are coming whether you need them or not.

  • Apple, as usual, is very late to the party, but it is readying its Apple GPT (that won’t be its name), a subscription service for use with Siri and probably in iOS18.
  • Microsoft offers CoPilot for Windows via Edge browser and Bing Search engine. Its subscription model is gaining popularity among the academic community.
  • Amazon is working on Alexa to sell you more stuff you didn’t know you needed.
  • Meta is incorporating AI into Facebook, WhatsApp, Messenger and Instagram.
  • OpenAI (ChatGPT) was the first, with a strong following.

CyberShack is far more concerned with AI-washing, just as ‘green-washing’ was the flavour of 2023. So far, nothing even remotely approaches true AI, so it is more about marketing and charging more for devices and monthly subscriptions. Read: What is Samsung Galaxy S24-series AI all about?

AI, as the consumer knows it, is akin to a parlour trick limited to:

  • Using machine learning to edit, touch up and produce photos (that are technically fake photos – not what you saw).
  • Visual search, where you circle an object on the screen (Android or Samsung), and it searches for it.
  • On-device translation from downloaded language packs.
  • Assisting in drafting responses to emails and texts.
  • Fall and crash detection – limited use of AI to avoid false positives.
  • Voice Assistant suggestions based on what it knows about you (which is much more than you think).
  • Suggestions related to calendars, birthdays, anniversaries, etc.
  • Generative AI that plagiarises information about topics and writes responses, papers, and new reports. Or generates images based on other people’s art or design.

Samsung, Apple and Google feel that charging for AI (or certain aspects of it) is fair. For the vast majority (at least for the foreseeable future), it may be a case of buying a smartphone without AI – just as we have done since Steve Jobs launched the first iPhone in 2007.

Want to know more? Read What is AI (Artificial Intelligence), how will it affect me?