Google delays launch of ‘Gemini’ AI bot until January: report

Google delays launch of ‘Gemini’ AI bot until January: report

Google has delayed the public release of its hotly anticipated conversational artificial intelligence tool “Gemini” until next month due to concerns about its performance, according to a report Monday.

The decision to bump the product launch, which will compete directly with OpenAI’s ChatGPT, came after Google researchers found that Gemini “didn’t reliably handle some non-English queries,” The Information reported, citing sources familiar with the matter.

Google had planned to roll out Gemini at a series of debut events slated to take place later this month in New York, Washington, DC, and California, the report said. Google boss Sundar Pichai opted to cancel those events.

Prior to its cancellation, the event in Washington was intended to serve as a showcase of Google’s burgeoning AI initiatives for US lawmakers at a time when the government is increasingly looking at ways to regulate the technology.

Google did not immediately return a request for comment on the delay.


Google
Google is scrambling to compete with OpenAI. Sundry Photography – stock.adobe.com

A December launch would have been a rare occurrence for Google, which generally does not schedule major product releases during this time of year.

Gemini has been described as a collection of large-language models, meaning it is trained using endless reams of internet data. Once ready, Gemini will be able to handle a vast array of user prompts, from standard text and image inquiries to software coding and beyond.

The advanced AI tool is expected to provide a boost to Google’s existing products, including its current Bard AI chatbot and its search engine.

So far, Google has been largely mum about Gemini’s purported capabilities.

Last May, Google described Gemini as a “next-generation foundation model.” The company said Gemini would be “available at various sizes and capabilities” once it was “fine-tuned and rigorously tested for safety.”

OpenAI recently dealt with its own upheaval after its board of directors shockingly voted to oust Sam Altman as CEO.


Sundar Pichai
Google CEO Sundar Pichai canceled a number of debut events. AFP via Getty Images

After days of frantic negotiations, Altman returned to the role late last month, while OpenAI unveiled a revamped board of directors that includes former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers and ex-Twitter chair Bret Taylor.

Despite its internal turmoil, Microsoft-backed OpenAI remains the industry leader in AI development.

ChatGPT has amassed more than 100 million actively weekly users since launch roughly one year ago, according to Altman.

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