Enormous change to Google Australia introduced as Google Assistant phased out

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Google is about to enter its “Gemini period”.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai, introduced on Friday that Google is now going all-in on its generative AI platform, which can be renamed from ‘Bard’ to ‘Gemini’.

The largest change for Australians, is that Google Assistant is now being phased out in favour of Gemini.

As of subsequent week, Australian Google Assistant customers on Android telephones will be capable of opt-in to make use of Gemini as a substitute of the usual Google Assistant, marking the largest change to Google Assistant because it was first launched in 2016. Apple iPhone customers will get entry to Gemini within the subsequent few weeks.

Google Assistant is the Google equal of Apple’s Siri or Amazon Alexa, and presently solutions easy questions and does fundamental duties, like turning good lights on or off. Gemini will construct on that by incorporating generative AI to fulfil duties.

Customers can use their voice (or kind) to ask Gemini to generate a customized picture for a birthday invitation, create an Instagram caption for a photograph, or reply questions on an article you’re studying.

Google claims you may even take a photograph of your flat tyre on the facet of the street and ask what to do subsequent. In contrast to Google Assistant, Gemini will be capable of entry extra context for questions, which is the way it is aware of which picture you desire a caption for, or which article you’re studying.

If customers are uncomfortable with generative AI, or with having an AI assistant scanning their display screen for context, then they’ll keep on with the essential Google Assistant for now. But it surely raises the bar for what Apple and Amazon might want to do with their good assistants to compete throughout this present generative AI pattern.

For customers of Bard, not a lot will change aside from the net handle switching to say Gemini. Bard is a generative AI platform like ChatGPT or Midjourney, and makes use of quick prompts to create items of writing or pictures.

Google is the largest search engine on the planet, and Google Assistant is without doubt one of the hottest good assistants in Australia, so these bulletins sign additional integration of generative AI in our each day lives, and additional mainstream the expertise.

However generative AI shouldn’t be with out controversy.

One widespread criticism about generative AI is that the Language Studying Fashions (LLMs) on which they’re constructed are superb at approximating what a human sentence may seem like, however aren’t very able to reality checking.

For instance, should you Google “which international locations in Africa begin with a okay?”, the highest AI chosen (and allegedly written) reply says: “As of my final information replace in September 2021, there isn’t a sovereign nation in Africa whose title begins with the letter ‘Okay’.

“Nevertheless, please observe that conditions can change over time, so it’s all the time a good suggestion to confirm this data with more moderen sources if wanted.”

This virtually an enchancment on the earlier prime chosen reply of “There aren’t any international locations in Africa that begin with the letter ‘Okay’. The closest is Kenya, which begins with a ‘Okay’ sound.”

Each solutions are virtually as humorous as they’re improper.

A considerably much less humorous, instance of AI going improper is should you google: “What to say to a rape sufferer”. One of many prime AI recommended solutions is, “it was your fault”.

One other criticism is that the fashions these AIs are educated on embody hundreds, if not tens of millions of items of copyrighted content material used with out permission, with artists and media organisations involved that these fashions educated on their work will put them out of enterprise. As reported by Euronews, OpenAI (the corporate behind ChatGPT) just lately stated: “As a result of copyright at this time covers just about each kind of human expression – together with weblog posts, images, discussion board posts, scraps of software program code, and authorities paperwork – it will be unattainable to coach at this time’s main AI fashions with out utilizing copyrighted supplies.”

It will likely be attention-grabbing to see how that defence holds up in court docket.

The brand new Gemini expertise accessible to Australians on Android from subsequent week.

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