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By Faizel Patel

Senior Digital Journalist

Google launches Gemini Advanced AI tool in South Africa

Gemini will give users access to Google's largest and most capable state-of-the-art AI model.

Tech giant Google has announced it is rebranding its Bard artificial intelligence (AI) tool to Gemini and is launching an advanced version of the software to the public.

Google said the new name is taken from the AI model family that it is built on. It was unveiled by CEO Sundar Pichai in December describing it as “our largest and most capable AI model.”

“To reflect this, Bard will now simply be known as Gemini,” Google said.

Gemini − Advanced

You can already chat with Gemini with the Pro 1.0 model in over 40 languages and more than 230 countries and territories.

“And now, we’re launching Gemini Advanced to help people easily collaborate with the best of Google AI,” it said.

Google said Gemini Advanced will give users in more than 150 countries and territories access to Ultra 1.0, Google’s largest and most capable state-of-the-art AI model, better at highly complex tasks like coding, logical reasoning, following nuanced instructions and collaborating on creative projects. It’s currently available in English, and we’ll expand to more languages over time.

ALSO READ: Google reveals SA interest in AI spiked to 650% over past five years


In South Africa, Gemini Advanced is available as part of the brand new Google One AI Premium Plan for R429.99/month, starting with a two-month trial at no cost.

“This plan gives the best of Google AI and our latest advancements, along with all the benefits of the existing Google One Premium plan, such as 2TB of storage. In addition, AI Premium subscribers will soon be able to use Gemini in Gmail, Docs, Slides, Sheets and more.”

Gemini on your phone

Google said it is also rolling out a new mobile experience for Gemini and Gemini Advanced with a Gemini app on Android and in the Google app on iOS, in English in the US only. The app will be coming to South Africa in English next week.

“With Gemini on your phone, you can type, talk or add an image for all kinds of help while you’re on the go: take a picture of your flat tyre and ask for instructions, generate a custom image for your dinner party invitation or ask for help writing a difficult text message.”

South Africans and AI

Recent data revealed that Google searches related to AI increased 370% in the last year in South Africa − and 650% over the last five years.

In fact, In Google’s new global survey, South African respondents reported that they were already seeing AI have an impact on the way they access information, learn and work.

Gemini is evolving to be more than just AI models. It supports an entire ecosystem − from the products that millions of South Africans use every day, to the APIs and platforms helping developers and businesses innovate.

Building next-gen AI boldly and responsibly

Google said it will continue to take a bold and responsible approach to bringing this technology to the world.

“We continue to take a bold and responsible approach to bringing this technology to the world. And, to mitigate issues like unsafe content or bias, we’ve built safety into our products in accordance with our AI Principles. Before launching Gemini Advanced, we conducted extensive trust and safety checks. You can find more detail in our updated Gemini Technical Report.”

ALSO READ: WATCH: Google using AI to tackle food insecurity, weather and floods

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