Google has unveiled the rebranding of its artificial intelligence chatbot, transitioning from “Bard” to “Gemini,” and is introducing an upgraded version of the software to the general public.
The global tech giant has stated that the new Gemini Pro artificial intelligence model will be available in South Africa before extending to other markets across the African continent. The cutting-edge innovation is available in English in 150 countries as of Thursdays, now including South Africa.
“With Gemini on your phone, you can type, talk or add an image for all kinds of help while you’re on the go: take a picture of your flat tire and ask for instructions, generate a custom image for your dinner party invitation or ask for help writing a difficult text message. It’s an important first step in building a true AI assistant — one that is conversational, multimodal and helpful,” Google stated in a press release.
The unveiling of Gemini comes alongside the rollout of an upgraded version of the software, Gemini Advanced, which boasts powerful features tailored to meet the growing demand for sophisticated AI solutions. South African users will be the first to access Gemini Advanced, with plans for expansion to other African markets shortly.
However, access to Gemini Advanced’s features will come at a cost, as Google introduces subscription plans for Gemini Advanced. Priced at $22.6/month, the subscription includes access to the powerful Ultra 1.0 AI model, designed to tackle complex tasks with precision and efficiency.
“Gemini Advanced is now available in South Africa as part of the new Google One AI Premium Plan for $22.6/month, starting with a free two-month trial,” Google announced.
Google’s decision to launch Gemini in South Africa was informed by the country’s increasing interest and engagement with AI technology. Recent data indicates a substantial surge in searches related to AI with an increase of 370 percent in the last year in South Africa and 650 percent over the last five years. Another survey carried out by Google found that South African respondents reported that they were already seeing AI have an impact on how they access information, learn and work.
To capture a broader market, Google is positioning Gemini as the go-to AI solution for users seeking cutting-edge generative AI technology. The company said Android users can opt into Gemini as the default digital aide on their phones, accessing it through an app, the power button or by saying “Hey Google”.
“When you do that, it presents one of the lowest friction ways in the world to access AI,” Product Lead Jack Krawczyk said. “Gemini is coming to the Google iPhone app as well,” he added.
Google stated that they’re rolling out a new mobile experience for Gemini with a Gemini app on Android and a Google app on iOS in South Africa next week.