How to use Google Gemini: A Step-by-Step Guide for 2024

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Since its release earlier this year, Google Gemini has become one of the most popular large language models (LLMs) on the market. It can create everything from text to images and code. But how does it work exactly?

This guide explains how to use Google Gemini, including some prompts to get you started.

Key takeaways

  • Google Gemini is Google’s flagship multimodal LLM
  • Gemini can support text, voice, image, and code inputs
  • Use Gemini to ask questions, create images, and more
  • Be wary of hallucinations and always fact-check outputs!

What is Google Gemini?

The meaning of Gemini in Latin is twins, but in the context of Google’s product ecosystem, it is a family of multimodal models released in December 2023 that can process text, voice, image, and code inputs. Originally, the Gemini chatbot was known as Google Bard (released in March 2023) but was rebranded in February 2024.

How Google Gemini Works

Users enter input via text, voice, or image, and Gemini’s AI uses machine learning (ML) techniques like natural language processing (NLP) and natural language generation (NLG) to process the query and produce an output that it predicts will match the user’s intent. To do this, it uses data from a variety of sources, including proprietary data sources and data scraped from across the web.

What is Google Gemini Used For?

Google Gemini is primarily a research assistant that users can use to query data scraped from across the web. In this sense, it can be viewed as an alternative to a search engine which also has the ability to create content. However, it’s worth noting that it does have a tendency to hallucinate incorrect information.

How to Use Google Gemini

Like most chatbots, the Google Gemini app is easy to use. Below we’re going to look at how to sign up for the program and get the most out of your prompts.

How to Sign Up for Google Gemini For Free

Gemini's homepage

  1. Before signing up for Google Gemini, you need to make sure that you have a Google account to use the service. You can create an account by clicking on the following link, selecting Create account, and following the onscreen instructions.
  2. Now that you’re signed into your Google Account, you can sign up for Gemini via the official landing page here. Once you’re logged in, select the Chat with Gemini button and accept the terms of service to open Gemini.

It’s important to note that if you’re signed into a Google Workspace account then you might receive a warning message that “your admin may not have enabled access to Gemini.”

If this message comes up, then you’ll need to contact your administrator to ask them to turn on early access apps for your user account. You’ll also need to be over the age of 18 to access the chatbot.

How to Use Gemini Prompts

Image showing Gemini prompts

To use Gemini, simply enter a question or command into the text box, and the language model will respond with a relevant output (you can also enter a voice clip or image by clicking on the microphone or image icon in the text box.)

For the purposes of this example, we’re going to start with text input. So to begin, we’re going to ask a historical question “When was the U.S. Constitution written?” into the text box and press enter.

This question generated the following output:

Image showing output generated by Gemini

Underneath the response, you may notice five buttons that allow you to interact with Gemini’s responses.

These are as follows:

  • Like
  • Dislike
  • Modify response (shorter, longer, simpler, more casual, more professional)
  • Share & export
  • Double-check response
  • And more (copy/report a legal issue)

We recommend double-checking all factual information provided by Gemini either via the double-check response icon or independently via Google Search and a reputable third-party source. LLMs can make mistakes and generate verifiably false information.

If you want to go beyond asking questions, you can also ask Gemini to write content, such as articles, blog posts, emails, messages, or even stories.

For instance, we entered “Write me an article on SEO best practices” and received the following result:

Image showing Gemini's results

In this example, we used Gemini to create content. Although the quality is below what you’d expect from a human writer or creative professional, some users may find this useful for enhancing content ideation.

How to Create Images in Gemini

One of Gemini’s most useful capabilities is the ability to generate images. Simply enter a text prompt describing the image you want to create, and the model will bring it to life.

To demonstrate these capabilities, we entered “Create me an image of a T rex in New York City” into the prompt box.

Here are the results:

An image showing the prompt to generate images with Gemini

You can get better-quality images by giving the model more details about the style of image you want to create. For example, we could have modified the image by telling it to produce an image of a photorealistic or cartoon-style T rex.

How Gemini Uses Your Data

Google collects data from user conversations with Gemini. This not only includes the content of conversations but also your location, IP address, and feedback. The organization claims that this information can be used by human reviewers to help improve the model’s performance.

For this reason, we recommend not entering any confidential information in your inputs – as this information will likely be processed and recorded.

If you want to protect your data further, you can also stop Gemini from saving conversations to your Google Account by turning off Google Apps Activity.

To do this:

  1. Go to the Gemini Apps Activity page here.
  2. Go to the Gemini Apps Activity subheading and click on the Turn off drop-down menu.
  3. Select Turn off or Turn off and Delete Activity (the latter will also delete your past user activity on Gemini).
  4. Read the text warning about turning Gemini Apps Activity off and click Got it to confirm.

Completing the process means that your chats won’t be processed to improve Google’s models, but they will still be saved on your account for up to 72 hours.

Google Gemini vs. Google Bard

Google Gemini is essentially an updated version of Google Bard. The core user experience is the same, but Gemini offers enhanced reasoning capabilities and a multimodal user experience (UX) that furthers the use of the Imagen 2 ML model to create images.

Tips for Using Google Gemini Effectively

Using Google Gemini effectively comes down to knowing some prompt engineering best practices and entering prompts that precisely articulate your search intent and generate the answers/outputs that you’re looking for.

Keep it short and sweet

Keep your prompts concise, but don’t be afraid to add more details.

Don't share confidential information

Assume all information you enter will be shared with Google and avoid sharing any confidential data or personally identifiable information (PII).

Always fact-check

Always fact-check outputs against third-party sources because LLMs are prone to generate provably false outputs.

Don't be afraid to ask follow-up questions

If a prompt doesn’t meet your needs, don’t be afraid to ask follow-up questions.

Tips for Using Google Gemini Effectively

Google Gemini Pros and Cons

As a language model, Gemini offers a range of pros and cons to users. Some of these include:

Pros pros

  • Gemini is easy to access and use
  • Supports text, voice, image, and code inputs
  • Quickly responds to user inputs compared to other LLMs
  • Double-check responses to see where Gemini sourced information

Cons cons

  • Gemini has received criticism in the past for creating biased outputs
  • The chatbot will create provably false outputs (hallucinations) from time to time
  • Users need a Google Account in order to use Gemini

The Bottom Line

Google Gemini is one of the top LLMs on the market, and it’s free to use. If you have not used Gemini before, then don’t be afraid to try it out; you can converse with it as you would any text-based chatbot.

Remember that you can always ask Gemini for more information about its capabilities if you’re out of ideas on how to use it.

FAQs

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Tim Keary
Technology Specialist
Tim Keary
Technology Specialist

Tim Keary is a freelance technology writer and reporter covering AI, cybersecurity, and enterprise technology. Before joining Techopedia full-time in 2023, his work appeared on VentureBeat, Forbes Advisor, and other notable technology platforms, where he covered the latest trends and innovations in technology. He holds a Master’s degree in History from the University of Kent, where he learned of the value of breaking complex topics down into simple concepts. Outside of writing and conducting interviews, Tim produces music and trains in Mixed Martial Arts (MMA).