Google Gemini Advanced: Google’s Counter to Copilot? | The AI Moment – Episode 15

Google Gemini Advanced: Google’s Counter to Copilot? | The AI Moment – Episode 15

On this episode of The AI Moment, we discuss an emerging generative AI trend – the launch of Google Gemini Advanced, Google’s counter to Microsoft Copilot.

First Microsoft’s Copilot, now Google Gemini Advanced. In the span of just a few months, sophisticated generative AI assistants have been made available to the mass market, and there are more to come. In the big picture, there are different drivers for each of the tech giants.

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Disclosure: The Futurum Group is a research and advisory firm that engages or has engaged in research, analysis, and advisory services with many technology companies, including those mentioned in this article. The author does not hold any equity positions with any company mentioned in this webcast.

Analysis and opinions expressed herein are specific to the analyst individually and data and other information that might have been provided for validation, not those of The Futurum Group as a whole.


Mark Beccue: Hello everybody. I’m Mark Beccue, Research Director for AI with The Futurum Group. Welcome to the AI Moment, our weekly podcast that explores latest developments in enterprise AI. We’re literally in a moment. The pace of change in innovation for AI is unprecedented. The world’s never seen anything like what we’ve seen since the introduction of chat GPT kind of changed the world in late 2022 and kickstarted the generative AI era.

Now with this show, the AI Moment, we try to distill the mountain of information, separate the real from the hype, and provide you with sure handed analysis from the latest advancements in AI technology and all that’s going on with the mutating vendor landscape to AI regulations, ethics, risk management, and a lot more. So today, most of our episodes are somewhere between 20 and 30 minutes. Today I am happy to do, we have a topic I am kind of excited about. Big news last week, we’re going to talk about Google Gemini Advanced, which I’m kind of saying is Google’s counter to Copilot. Okay, so with that, let’s dive in.

So last week on the eighth, Google published a series of blog posts that was outlining kind of a little bit of a shift in the branding of the word they’re using for Gemini, right? So there was a few things they outlined and really the bigger news was about how Google Gemini Ultra, which is the biggest of their LLMs they talked about a few months ago, are now becoming part of Google products. So here’s the details of what they kind of talked about that day. So Gemini Ultra is the largest Google model ever, and it’s designed for the most complex tasks possible for an LLM and some of the details they gave us back, I’m going to go through that a little bit.

What they gave us back before when they first talked about the Gemini Ultra LLM, was that it outperformed GPT-4 in a bunch of tests and it included these tests for reasoning, math and coding and the ability to do multimodal thinking, right? So there’s that, and they went on to talk about how it was designed to be natively multimodal. And what that does for reasoning is it can help make sense of these complex written and visual information pieces that come in. And I’ll quote them, they say, “Makes Gemini uniquely skilled at uncovering knowledge that can be difficult to discern amid vast amounts of data.” So it’s that language model LLM is looking not only at written texts, but videos and other pieces that might have information in them to pull these things together. So that’s what that does.

The other part of this announcement was that Bard has been rebranded as Gemini. And when you look at the packaging of this, and this is where it gets more interesting to me, is Ultra is going to be part of what they call, right now they’re calling Gemini Advanced, which is available through, it’s a subscription service called, it’s the new Google one, AI Premium Plans, it’s $19 99 cents a month but they will start you with a two month trial at no cost. So Google One AI premium adds some benefits to their existing Google one premium stuff such as like you get two terabytes of storage. But with AI Premium, subscribers will, quote to them, “Soon be able to use Gemini in Gmail, docs, slides, sheets and more.” And they went on to describe what Advance can do. It has quote, “Broad ranging capabilities in advanced coding, logical reasoning following nuanced instructions and collaborating on creative projects.”

So there were a couple different blog posts that went out about this. One was from Sundar Pichai, who’s the CEO of Google, and another was from an executive that was more specific around what Gemini Advanced can do. So here’s why this is important. You kind of parsed through this a little bit. And what I was thinking was we had, first we had Microsoft’s Copilot and now we have Google Gemini Advanced. And let’s put that into context for a second here. Just a span of a few months, we are now going to have the sophisticated generative AI assistance made available to mass market.

And there’s more to come. We know there will be, but in the big picture, what does this mean, right? And so you have two of the biggest companies in the world putting these out there for general purpose uses. And if you think about Copilot, it’s sitting in these apps that are used by everybody every day in the Office 365 Suite. And so many people use Office Mail and Teams and all that. And then on the other side, you have Google now with, saying that Advanced would be available for price within their suite of competing products. Right? All right, so what we need to do here first is understand drivers. And I think that’s important to think about. These two companies have a little bit different drivers than each other. They do compete with each other, but in other ways they don’t so much. Their drivers are different.

So let’s go back over that for a second. So in 2022, Google Alphabet revenues were 279 billion. And of that, 224 billion came from various forms of advertising, most of it in search advertising. So where I’m going with this is we never should forget that the main revenue driver for Google Alphabet and all its various companies is search advertising. Search advertising. So put that in perspective. You have divisions, right? So one of the divisions that’s important in this space is Google Cloud. So in 2022, that 279 billion in revenue, 26.2 billion were made by Google Cloud of that 279. And interestingly in the first quarter of 2023, Google Cloud reported its first profit in more than a decade. So none of these numbers are small change, but given the scale and the ratio of the economics there, it would make sense that Google isn’t always, wouldn’t it make sense to me, that Google’s always thinking about search, like we said.

So here’s Bard. Now Gemini gets this boost through the use of these Gemini LLMs, but you got to parse this out a little bit. So Ultra, which is that really big model that Google just is debuting into general availability is not always going to be in Bard. It says that in the announcements they gave. So sometimes it is, it’s more when you’re paying the premium, then you’re getting the ultra capabilities. And so when we also parse this out and say Gemini Advanced is not about search, but it’s about a generative AI assistant that, it’s like Copilot, it traverses and assists users across multiple apps. And this to me is a move that what appears to be table stakes, I think, of a strategy to protect Google’s apps, Gmail, Docs, Sheets and so on against Microsoft Copilots in Office 365. So it feels like it’s kind of a table stake strategy to do that when you put this LLM out there to be the engine for this assistant, a paid assistant, which is interesting.

But I think if you pull it back a little bit further, the idea that we’re going to see these agents, a very sophisticated agent now with this LLM behind it in Google’s world, there’s an advantage for them. And that’s in mobile, right? So we won’t want to forget about mobile. This is where they announced during this whole piece that Gemini Advanced, that sophisticated agent, will now be an Android and iOS. Now that’s probably a bigger piece of news and a strategy where Google has to protect some space and may make some inroads because there’s not really an equivalent piece. There’s no iOS, there’s no OS for mobile that Microsoft controls. So at the end of this, I think that ultimately really, all of those things aside, Google’s resources and their focus will be, I think at the end of the day, to continue to look and master generative AI for next generation search.

And we’ve talked about this about, in my practice, I’ve written extensively about this idea that these are not announcements about this next generation of what search will look like. And let’s talk about that for a second. What’s the key piece to that right now is what they call search generative experience, SGE. And they have been experimenting along the same lines as what Copilot was doing and what was happening within Bing there. But there’s nothing, we’re not done yet. And I think what you have to consider there is how people use search in the future. The idea would be do we search more intelligently instead of just getting links back, we’re seeing these summaries of ideas and that type of thing. And what the problem with that is how do you monetize that? So you’re talking about massive monetization that Google is trying to protect and preserve is how do we marry up better search with being paid, being paid through that search advertising?

So we’re staying tuned on that. I think that these models that we just saw that just came out that are now the rollout of Gemini are going to, that’s going to be where we’re really going to see and continue to see Google’s primary focus. These are just early pieces I think that are really the prelude to what they do with search. So this is funny. I wrote this note back when the Gemini family and models were announced. So I’m going to read what I put in my conclusions. See, just for fun, I put, “There are a significant amount of reasons Google will invest heavily in generative AI innovation and there’s no reason to believe the primary driver of that innovation, particularly in an AI model development, will be to make proprietary Google products better.” Okay, well, I still think that’s the case. The primary goal, in my opinion, for the Gemini models is to transform search.But Google has this very diverse business and clearly the models, Gemini models are becoming foundational. So many pieces of the business, their applications, Android, Chrome, Google Cloud offerings. So the use of Gemini branding seems a little confusing to me, but I have a feeling they’re going to modify that going forward and see a little bit of a different kind of take from that.

So anyway, that’s going on this week with Google and their big launch, and we’re going to stay tuned and see what happens because in the scheme of things, this really has a big impact on so many people and it’s just really accelerates what I think is the mass market adoption of generative AI. It’s going to be through these applications and things like Google, Gemini Advanced is going to be something that sits up and competes with Microsoft Copilot. All right, that’s it this week. Short and sweet, get you onto your day and do other things. Thanks for joining me here at The AI Moment. Be sure to subscribe, rate and review our webcast podcast on your preferred platforms. Thanks again and we’ll see you next time.

Other Insights from The Futurum Group:

Generative AI Observability, Policy Management| The AI Moment — Episode 14

Gen AI Case Study: Amazon Pharmacy| The AI Moment – Episode 13

Microsoft Copilot Forecast, Fairly Trained, Google ASPIRE | The AI Moment – Episode 12

Author Information

Mark comes to The Futurum Group from Omdia’s Artificial Intelligence practice, where his focus was on natural language and AI use cases.

Previously, Mark worked as a consultant and analyst providing custom and syndicated qualitative market analysis with an emphasis on mobile technology and identifying trends and opportunities for companies like Syniverse and ABI Research. He has been cited by international media outlets including CNBC, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg Businessweek, and CNET. Based in Tampa, Florida, Mark is a veteran market research analyst with 25 years of experience interpreting technology business and holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of Florida.


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