Gemini Pro, one of Google's largest artificial intelligence (AI) models, is now available for European users as an upgrade to Bard, the company has said.
It’s a multimodal large model, meaning it can understand and combine different types of information like text, code, audio, image, and video.
With Gemini, Google is trying to compete with OpenAI's popular chatbot ChatGPT, with a section of Gemini's presentation page dedicated to its performances in various capability tests in reasoning, image understanding, and coding.
While Gemini Pro is the most polyvalent tool, Gemini Ultra is the largest model and can be used for more complex tasks while Gemini Nano is good for on-device work.
Google and Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai announced the launch of their "most capable" AI model Gemini at the beginning of December 2023.
They announced this week that Gemini Pro in Bard would now be available in 40 countries and more than 230 countries and territories.
A late arrival on the European market
It’s not the first time Google has launched a product later on the European market.
Google Pay launched in the US in 2018 but its rollout in Europe was delayed until 2020 due to concerns about market dominance and compliance with regional payment regulations.
It first launched the chatbot Bard in July 2023 - four months after it was made widely available in the US and UK - after the Irish Data Protection Commission (DPC) raised privacy concerns.
The EU has strong data privacy regulations like the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), implemented in 2018, which imposes strict rules on collecting, processing, and storing personal data.
Last year, Meta delayed the rollout of its app Threads in the EU over uncertainty about requirements set out by the Digital Markets Act (DMA).
Fierce competition in the AI race
EU states are currently discussing the future AI Act which contains several provisions designed to protect users from the potential abuses of AI.
Since ChatGPT's launch in November 2022, there has been an increase in AI tools made available to the wider public.
Different companies have joined the race, each with their own particularities.
Anthropic, a company founded by former OpenAI employees, has touted the trustworthiness and the limited misleading responses of its Chatbot Claude.
While HuggingFace, a French-American company, highlights that it is an open-source model.
Several other AI tools are tailored for more academic use.
Meanwhile, Bard and ChatGPT are vying to be the most popular AI chatbots.