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Google announces Gemini Flash 1.5 lightweight AI model at Google I/O

Google CEO Sundar Pichai speaks at the Google I/O developer conference.

Andrej Sokolow | Alliance in pictures | Getty Images

Google is using its annual developers conference to showcase what the company calls its lightest and most efficient artificial intelligence models.

On Tuesday during Google I/O, the company announced Gemini 1.5 Flash, the latest addition to the Gemini model series.

“Developers told us they wanted something faster and even more cost-effective,” Demis Hassabis, CEO of Google DeepMind, said during a press briefing.

The revelation comes as tech companies increasingly refocus their product development and deployment around generative AI, which is of particular importance to Google as the new tools offer consumers more advanced and creative ways to access information online compared to traditional web search.

OpenAI launched a new AI model and desktop version of ChatGPT on Monday, along with a new user interface. The new model, GPT-4o, is twice as fast as the GPT-4 Turbo and costs half as much, the company said.

Google also announced an improved Gemini 1.5 Pro model, capable of making sense of multiple large documents (1,500 pages total) or summarizing 100 emails, according to a vice president working on Gemini.

Gemini 1.5 Pro will soon be able to handle an hour’s worth of video content or codebases of more than 30,000 lines, Hsiao said.

“You can quickly get answers and information from dense documents, like finding the details of the pet policy in your rental agreement or comparing key arguments from multiple long research papers,” Hsiao said.

The latest OpenAI update, announced this week, brings improved quality and speed to ChatGPT for 50 different languages. It will also be available through OpenAI’s application programming interface (API), allowing developers to immediately begin building applications using the new model, executives said.

With 35 languages, Google says Gemini 1.5 Pro has a 2 million token window, which measures context and indicates how much information the model is capable of processing at once. The new model improved local reasoning, planning and image understanding, company executives said.

“It offers the longest pop-up of any founding model to date,” Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai said during the press briefing. At the event, he gave the example of a parent asking Gemini to summarize all recent emails from their child’s school.

Gemini 1.5 Pro will initially be available for testing in Workspace Labs. Gemini 1.5 Flash will be available for testing and in Vertex AI, Google’s machine learning platform that allows developers to train and deploy AI applications.

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