First, there were talking digital assistants like Siri, Alexa and Google Assistant. Then there were online chatbots like ChatGPT and Google Bard. Now, the two are merging.
On Thursday, Google introduced Gemini, a smartphone app that behaves like a talking digital assistant as well as a conversational chatbot. Responding to voice and text requests, it can answer questions, write poetry, generate images, draft emails, analyze personal photos and take other actions, like setting a timer or placing a phone call.
Immediately available to English speakers in more than 150 countries and territories, including the United States, Gemini replaces Bard and Google Assistant. It is underpinned by artificial intelligence technology that the company has been developing since early last year.
The new app is designed to do an array of tasks, including serving as a personal tutor, helping computer programmers with coding tasks and even preparing job hunters for interviews, Google said.
“It can help you role-play in a variety of scenarios,” said Sissie Hsiao. a Google vice president in charge of the company’s Google Assistant unit, during a briefing with reporters.
When ChatGPT arrived from OpenAI at the end of 2022, wowing the public with the way it answered questions, wrote term papers and generated computer code, Google found itself playing catch-up. Like other tech giants, the company had spent years developing similar technology but had not released a product as advanced as ChatGPT.
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