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Faux Advanced: The Stark Reality of Google Gemini AI's Capabilities

Google is the company which touted its AI smarts way back with products such as Assistant, Lens and Google Now. They announced Google LaMDA back in May 2021. Yet, more than a year later, it was OpenAI and ChatGPT launched at the end of November 2022 which got the most attention and ushered in the era of AI.

Microsoft quickly jumped on the bandwagon and integrated AI into pretty much everything but Google, which I honestly think has the AI smarts, fumbled. They released Bard (weird name) in March 2023... it wasn't as smart as ChatGPT and didn't sweep away the competition as many people expected it to. I tried it a few times and found it to be very unreliable.

Fast forward to 2024, Google changed the name from Bard to Gemini and launched it to much fanfare with a dazzling video which was mostly fake. Curious and Impressed by the fake video, I tried it out again to be disappointed by the quality of responses and the high amount of hallucinations.

In the last few weeks, Google launched the paid version of Gemini, partnered with Reddit to make use of all the user data to teach its AI and is supposedly in talks with Apple to power its AI efforts in iOS 18.

Curious, I signed up for Gemini Advanced to see if it's better than Gemini and ChatGPT, I could potentially shift from ChatGPT Plus and get access to 2 TB of storage. Gemini is also supposed to have access to my Gmail and Google Drive and I can use it with Google Workspace.

Unfortunately, the experience wasn't good this time either. A case in point is the confusion around the IGN rating for the movie "The Beekeeper," where Gemini Advanced failed to provide accurate information.

First, a simple query about a movie rating led to a bewildering response that the movie doesn't exist.

Despite being the 'Advanced' tier, it couldn't access Google's own search results, browse content, or interact with my files on Google Drive and Gmail. These limitations starkly contrast the seamlessness that was advertised and one would expect from a premium AI service, especially one integrated with Google's ecosystem.

These hallucinations and inconsistencies not only confuse but also undermine trust in the AI's capability to handle even basic research tasks. Hopefully, Google can straighten up its act soon and get back into the game. For now, I'm going to stick with ChatGPT.

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