Alphabet unveils its advanced AI model Gemini

Alphabet, the parent company of Google, has introduced Gemini, its most advanced AI model to date, in order to compete with OpenAI and Meta's Llama 2 for leadership in the artificial intelligence (AI) field.After the merger of its AI research units, DeepMind and Google Brain, Alphabet formed a unified division named Google DeepMind, led by CEO Demis Hassabis. Gemini is the first AI model developed under this consolidated framework.Gemini has been fashioned as a "multimodal," enabling it to comprehend and process various forms of information simultaneously, including text, code, audio, images, and video.Gemini is being offered in three distinct sizes: Ultra, designed for highly complex tasks, Pro, intended for scalability across a broad spectrum of tasks,Nano, tailored for on-device applications.Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai said: "These are the first models of the Gemini era and the first realisation of the vision we had when we formed Google DeepMind earlier this year. This new era of models represents one of the biggest science and engineering efforts we’ve undertaken as a company."Gemini Pro will be accessible to developers through the Gemini API in Google AI Studio and Google Cloud Vertex AI starting from December 13. Conversely, Gemini Nano will be available to Android developers through AICore, a new system capability introduced in Android 14. This capability will be rolled out on Pixel 8 Pro devices, with plans to extend support to other Android devices in the future.The new kid in the AI block may herald intense competition and a rat race for top position in the Gen-AI space.Earlier, it was reported that Google had delayed the public debut of Gemini to January. Tech news website The Information revealed that Sundar Pichai opted to cancel a set of Gemini events in California, New York, and Washington. This decision came after the company identified issues with the AI's reliability in handling certain non-English queries. The planned events were poised to be Google's most significant product launch of the year.

Google's Pichai to Testify in US Government Antitrust Hearing

Sundar Pichai, CEO of Alphabet Inc and its subsidiary Google, is set to testify on Monday, October 3, in a landmark antitrust battle with the US government. This case revolves around Google's alleged monopolistic control over search and certain aspects of search advertising.Pichai, appearing as a witness for Google, is expected to face questions about the company's efforts to maintain its dominance in online search, particularly as smartphones have become the primary device for web searches. The inquiry will likely focus on innovations related to search advertising as well.On the other side, the government's cross-examination may probe Google's multibillion-dollar annual payments to secure its position as the default search engine on various smartphones. The government contends that Google, which commands approximately 90% of the search market, has unlawfully paid around $10 billion per year to smartphone manufacturers, such as Apple, and wireless carriers like AT&T, to ensure that Google search is the default option on their devices, thereby preserving its market dominance.Google's strong position in the search market translates into significant influence in the highly profitable advertising sector, which serves as its primary revenue source. The tech giant argues that its revenue-sharing agreements are lawful and that it has made substantial investments to maintain competitiveness in the search and advertising realms. Additionally, Google maintains that consumers have the option to switch to alternative search providers if they are dissatisfied with the default search engine on their devices.