What to expect as Google changes its Bard AI chatbot this week

POLAND - 2024/01/04: In this photo illustration a Google Gemini logo is displayed on a smartphone with Artificial Intelligence (AI) symbol on the background. (Photo Illustration by Omar Marques/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
A new Gemini app will rebrand Google's AI. (Getty Images)

Google's Bard artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot is about to undergo a serious overhaul this week – starting with its name.

Google Bard will be renamed Gemini worldwide on Wednesday, reflecting the underlying software that powers it. But there could be other big changes in the pipeline, including a dedicated app and a new 'Ultra' version that some have described as a GPT-4 killer, referring to the top level of OpenAI's ChatGPT software.

None of this is confirmed, but it's been widely leaked including by developer Dylan Roussel, who found changelogs detailing some of the changes.

A leaked changelog says: "We're committed to giving everyone direct access to Google AI and, as of this week, every Gemini user across our supported countries and languages has access to Google's best family of AI models. To better reflect this commitment, we've renamed Bard to Gemini."

Here's what to expect this week.

A new Gemini app

The changelog suggests that a new Gemini app will launch, and Gemini will also be integrated into apps such as YouTube and Gmail.

The leaked changelog suggests big changes are incoming (Twitter)
The leaked changelog suggests big changes are incoming. (Twitter)

Android users will be able to download a dedicated Gemini app, although 9to5Google suggests this may be restricted to newer devices such as the Pixel 8 and Samsung's Galaxy S24, while iOS users will be able to access Gemini through the existing Google app.

Artificial intelligence in other Google apps

The launch this week will also see Gemini AI built into other Google apps as a 'helper', the leak suggests.

'Welcome to the Gemini era' slogan on Google DeepMind website is screened on a mobile phone for illustration photo. Gliwice,Poland on December 27, 2023. (Photo by Beata Zawrzel/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Google's new Gemini AI will be integrated into phone apps. (Getty Images)

The changelog says: "Get help learning in new ways, writing thank you notes, planning events, and more with Google AI on your phone. Gemini is integrated with Google apps like Gmail, Maps, and YouTube, making it easy to get things done on your phone. You can interact with it through text, voice or images."

A paid subscription for more powerful AI

The leak suggests that there will be a paid subscription known as Gemini Advanced.

This would bring Google's AI into line with OpenAI’s ChatGPT which offers both free and paid tiers. The paid subscription would offer access to Gemini Ultra, a much more powerful version of Google's AI.

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