As Techopedia anticipated in early November, multimodality is what makes Gemini different. In this sense, Google did not disappoint. The company revealed a next-generation AI that can understand and work with all types of content, including text, images, audio, video, sound, and speech.
But the AI — promised to be the most powerful in the world — was not applauded by everyone, unanimously or unconditionally.
On the one hand, some users love Gemini, assuring it has outperformed Chat GPT-4 by far, and on the other hand, tech experts have posed many questions worth answering.
Users Say “Google is So Back”
Users can only try out Gemini through Bard, Google’s famous online free chatbot. Google claims that the version of Gemini that was built into Bard — Gemini Pro — gives the chatbot advanced code generation, improved image and video comprehension, and cross-modal reasoning (which means it can combine information from text, images, and videos to generate more accurate and relevant responses).
To the disappointment of some users, Google also revealed that the more advanced version, Gemini Ultra, would be released sometime in 2024. The company also failed to deliver Gemini Nano, the AI for mobile devices.
That one is expected to hit the market before the year ends. Despite this phase-out release strategy, several users turned to social media to express their admiration for Gemini.
Business Insider reported that the release of Gemini has caused a series of “Google is so back” tweets on social media, responding to the general perception that Google had fallen behind competitors like OpenAI.
Google is wild for this. They are so back. pic.twitter.com/cGEBZip6mH
— Tridev Gurung (@tridevgurung) December 6, 2023
Some users went as far as claiming that Gemini is “so much faster” than GPT, as others turned to social media to post tests they had made to prove Gemini’s superiority.
Gemini is so good. SO much better and SO much faster than GPT-4 🤯. I'm sold — switching over pic.twitter.com/BQI7ywwxSR
— Mihir Patel (@mvpatel2000) December 6, 2023
Another feature that has gained popularity among users was summarized in a Google YouTube video that hit 1.3 million views in less than 24 and went viral. The footage reveals Gemini’s video-speech AI talents and was flooded with “blew my mind” and “impressive” comments.
But not everyone was taken aback.
Experts Break Down Gemini with Critical Eyes
While users praised Gemini and numerous international media outlets echoed Google’s press release data on how Gemini outperforms GPT-4, several technology experts cautiously walked the Gemini hype road.
In a report titled, “Google’s Gemini isn’t the generative AI model we expected“, TechCrunch said that they could not independently confirm whether Gemini Pro improved Bard. The media added that Google did not allow the press to test the models before releasing them to the public, nor gave them live demos during the Gemini press briefing to verify these claims.
TechCrunch reported that Gemini “isn’t much to write home about” and that the advanced model, Gemini Ultra, was “somewhat more impressive” than the Pro version.
While no one can argue that Gemini’s multimodal capabilities exceed that of Chat GPT with vision — which only works with images and text — the media did present some serious questions that eventually Google will have to answer. TechCrunch added that when it comes to training data questions, Google did not want to answer them.
“Google repeatedly refused to answer questions from reporters about how it collected Gemini’s training data, where the training data came from, and whether any of it was licensed from a third party.”
MIT Technology Review also had some strong words for Gemini. The media asked whether the wait was worth it and said that despite looking amazing, “Gemini could signal the peak of the AI hype”.
Like several other media who dug deep into the performance data offered by Google as proof of having the most powerful AI model, MIT Technology Review concluded that it does outmatch GPT-4 in almost all ways, but only by a little.
“It’s a big step for Google, but not necessarily a giant leap for the field as a whole. Google DeepMind claims that Gemini outmatches GPT-4 on 30 out of 32 standard measures of performance. And yet the margins between them are thin.”
When AI Becomes a Slogan
In this report, we will not delve into AI model performance comparisons — we look into how it compares to ChatGPT here. It’s clear that Google’s Gemini journey is just starting, and we believe this new AI is amazing and groundbreaking. Its advanced capabilities make it an invaluable technological achievement.
However, there seems to be a more profound trend at play. With AI becoming the coveted “Holy Grail” of the tech world, should we expect new AI products to be flaunted by big tech brands at every one of their events?
Those who follow tech and those who do not know that we witness an endless parade of new smartphones, tablets, VR/AR glasses, computers, gadgets, and devices every year.
They are all presented to us as the next big thing, even though, more often than not, they only represent incremental advancements rather than disruptive breakthroughs.
Systems are becoming more human than ever; they can talk, hear, understand, and interpret images and video and are expected to fuse with the real world through robotics. The world of AI is here. And Gemini is trail-blazing at its own pace on that challenging path.
But the constant claims of “bigger, better, faster, stronger” AI models are starting to sound like empty marketing slogans.
This overshadows the inspiring work that AI developers put in and the remarkable potential that lies beneath the surface of this transformative technology.
When innovation is business, mixed emotions about new technologies are inevitable.