What is Google Gemini and what can it do?


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Jose Conti

While ChatGPT is still clearly ahead of the pack in terms of adoption, Google’s Gemini, formerly Bard, has slowly closed the gap in the AI arms race. It recently got a wider launch and is now built-in on Chrome and Google Workspaces. And since it’s already in the new Pixel 8 line-up it’s only a matter of time for it to reach Android phones from other manufacturers. Fact I was recently invited to attend a News conference at Google’s headquarters in New York City where I was given a personal briefing about some of the new features that Google Gemini can assist with, baked into the new lineup of Google Chrome book plus laptops. The proliferation and ease of use of artificial intelligence is getting better and better, so even if you don’t think AI is for you, it’s worth understanding what is Google Gemini and what can it do.

So, whether you’re interested in Gemini for personal or business applications, here are a couple of things you need to know.

What’s Google Gemini?

Essentially, Gemini is a brainiac because it’s been stuffing its digital brain with tons of information from books, articles, memes, and… well, pretty much the entire internet. This helps it chat, create, and comprehend like a human might. The cool part? It’s always learning, thanks to a diet of natural language processing, computer vision, and machine learning.

Chat Improvements

Google’s been tweaking Gemini AI models to understand context and slang like a pro, making conversations with this AI feel more like chatting with a friend who gets you. Sure, it’s not perfect – sometimes it might miss the mark on sarcasm or niche internet memes, but when it gets it right, it’s impressively smooth.

Multimodal Mastery

Gemini is designed to be multimodal from the ground up. This means it can understand and process various types of input such as text, images, audio, and video.

This opens it up to a wide range of real world functions such as outlining a long video lecture and generating images like logos for a small business. Need a cover letter for a job you’ve been eyeing? Just upload your resume and Gemini can tailor one based on the job description and your qualifications.

Google Workspace Integration

If you use apps in the Google Workspace like Google Docs, Google Sheets, or Google Drive, then you’ve probably already noticed that the Gemini icon has been integrated across all of them. Once you click on it, it will show you what functions it can do on the app.

On Google Docs, for example, it can help you summarize, outline main points, brainstorm, or refine an existing document. On the other hand, Gemini gives you smarter image or file search capabilities in Google Drive. It’s also integrated across Google’s other apps such as Maps which gives it a more up-to-date and accurate recommendation.

Gemini and all its Flavors

While you’re probably familiar with Gemini as a chatbot, Google created multiple versions of it with different capabilities and specialties.

Gemini Nano

One of the most intriguing features of Gemini on Pixel phones is that it enables local live transcribing, a feature called Magic Compose that helps with smarter text prediction, and an accessibility feature called TalkBack that helps vision-impaired people identify what’s on their camera’s viewfinders.

Gemini Pro

These built-in features, however, only use Gemini Nano. To access the full-featured Gemini Pro variant, you’ll have to use a web browser or download the Gemini app from the Play Store on an Android phone. This lets you replace Google Assistant as the default assistant.

There’s no Gemini app on Apple’s ecosystem yet and since they’re also building their own large-language model AI, it’s unlikely we’ll be seeing Gemini on iPhones in the near future.

Gemini 1.5 Pro

For a $20 subscription to Google One Premium AI, you can gain access to Google’s top-tier Gemini 1.5 Pro. It’s designed for scaling across a wide range of tasks and performs at a similar level to GPT-4 capable of performing sophisticated reasoning tasks across various modalities, including text, images, audio, and video.

This multi-talented system shows its prowess by accurately describing scenes from a Buster Keaton movie. With a context window capable of reaching 1 million tokens, Gemini 1.5 Pro can comprehend and synthesize information from multiple lengthy documents or provide summaries of extensive texts, marking a significant milestone in consumer-available chatbot technology.

Watch my review on Google AI


  • Innovative Google Workspace integration
  • Google One AI Premium also grants access to Google Drive upgrades


  • Still not on ChatGPT-4’s level in terms of contextual search
  • Potential for bias in the training data and the misuse of the technology for harmful purposes

Google’s Gemini AI is a fascinating leap into the future of technology, mixing incredible potential with a touch of ‘still figuring things out.’ It’s a glimpse into a world where technology understands us a bit better, making life just a tad easier.

So, while Gemini is still under active development, early signs suggest that it could be a game-changer for AI. Google is already testing Gemini models in various products and services, and we can expect to see even more exciting developments in the near future.

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