After weeks of anticipation, Google has finally changed the name of Bard to Gemini, while also officially launching its Gemini Advanced version of the popular AI chatbot.
DeepMind CEO Demis Hassibis teased last summer that Gemini would trump GPT-4, and now, the world will be be able to see if he’s right. In fact, several reports are already claiming that Gemini Ultra 1.0 outpaces and outperforms GPT-4 on a wide range of benchmark tests.
Best of all, Google has made the Premium version of its Gemini AI chatbot – called Gemini Advanced – free for users, and it's indeed the one powered by Ultra 1.0.
In this guide, we’ll show you how to sign up for and use Gemini Advanced for free, so you can see for yourself if the generative AI tool is poised to send shockwaves through the industry as promised.
Bard's Relaunch as Gemini Complete
This week, Google rebranded its flagship generative AI tool, Bard, to Gemini, which has historically been used to refer to a class of large language models that includes Gemini Ultra, Gemini Pro, and Gemini Nano. Now, it will use Gemini to refer to the chatbot itself.
The language model powering the new Gemini chatbot is Gemini Pro, which replaced PaLM 2, the language model that has powered Bard previously, in December of last year. Before that, it was running on LaMDA, the same model that Google once infamously fired an employee for claiming was sentient.
In the new-and-slightly-improved Gemini interface, you should be able to find all of your saved chat history from your conversations with Bard, which means you can simply pick up where you left off.
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How to Get Gemini Advanced and Ultra 1.0 Free
You can use the free version of Gemini in the same way you could use Bard for free – simply log in to your Google account and head over to the Bard page. However, at the moment, if you sign up for Google One AI Premium, you’ll be able to get access to Gemini Advanced for two months without paying anything.
While that’s a lot longer than your average free software trial, after it runs out, you’ll have to pay the $19.99 per month subscription fee for Google One AI Premium. That’s practically the same price as other premium AI tiers including ChatGPT Plus, Claude Pro, and Copilot Pro.
Although a lot of users can access the Gemini chatbot, it’s worth noting that Gemini Advanced has not been rolled out globally, or for everyone with a Google account. Google simply says that Gemini Advanced isn't available in some countries, for work accounts for people under a certain age.
However, it definitely is available in the US and a common, legal workaround to access region-locked software is to set up a VPN. You'll want to go with one of the best cheap VPNs at first for these purposes, so check out our guide to that to get started.
Bard vs Gemini: What's the Difference?
In respect to the free version that everyone can access – not much, just minor alterations. The language model powering the free version, Gemini Pro, has been in place for two months, so nothing new there. Google has, however, made some changes to the interface to “reduce visual distractions, improve legibility and simplify the navigation.”
Bard is no more – Gemini takes its place. Image: Tech.co
But when it comes to Gemini advanced, it’s not just a name change – it’s a cast-iron upgrade. Gemini Advanced’s Ultra 1.0 LLM is a significantly more powerful language model than LaMDA and PaLM2.
More specifically, Google says in the chatbot’s release notes (which you can access in the interface) that “Gemini Advanced is far more capable at highly complex tasks like coding, logical reasoning, following nuanced instructions and creative collaboration.”
Neither (although LaMDA more so) of these two LLMs can compete with – and even surpass – GPT-4 on the same range of different tasks and tests that Ultra 1.0 can.
Although the full extent of Ultra 1.0’s powers is still unclear, one thing is for sure: 2024 is shaping up to be another ground-breaking year for artificial intelligence.