Google rebranded its Bard chatbot to Gemini, the AI model engineering the product, in addition to introducing a subscription plan as it pushes to match rival offerings from OpenAI and Microsoft. 

In a blog, Google CEO Sundar Pichai explained Gemini will be the anchor of sorts for tools across its ecosystem. For a price of £18.99 a month, subscribers can access Ultra 0.1, its largest AI model that it claims can outperform human experts on certain subjects. 

The business model means the Gemini product suite is now accessible to users beyond developers, and the rebranded chatbot will soon have its standalone mobile app.

Meanwhile, under the payment plan, the chatbot will be able to perform more complex tasks and is promoted to have better reasoning capabilities. 

The Alphabet subsidiary also teased Gemini’s integration with productivity apps through Duet AI, meaning subscribers will be able to deploy Gemini on its roster of work apps including Gmail and Google Docs, while cloud customers will be able to “boost productivity” through the offering. 

Rival OpenAI introduced an enterprise version of generative AI play Chat-GPT in August 2023, while Microsoft also offers Copilot to complement its suite of Office 365 apps.  

Pichai said the announcement reflects how Google is “approaching innovation boldly”, and that it is already “well underway training the next iteration of our Gemini models”. 

Founder of Radio Free Mobile Richard Windsor believes “Gemini finally puts Google in the AI race”, with a simple range of models that improve existing products and power stand-alone products to “compete with everyone else”. 

“I suspect that its services will be improved as a result of Gemini leading to greater loyalty and an improved ability to monetise its ecosystem,” he added.