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Google I/O 2024: From Gemini 1.5 Flash to new AI features in Android, check out the top announcements

Google introduced a number of key upgrades at its I/O 2024 event on Tuesday including the release of new Gemini and Gemma models, latest AI features for Android, a new AI voice assistant and text-to-video generator. 

Here are top announcements made by Google I/O event:

1) Gemini 1.5: 

Google rolled out a new Gemini 1.5 Flash language model on Tuesday, which it touted to be more lightweight than the popular Gemini 1.5 Pro model while being fast and efficient. The new AI model is capable of multimodal reasoning and comes with a larger context window of 1 million tokens.

Google says Gemini 1.5 Flash model has been optimized for handling high-frequency tasks where response time matters the most. 

2) Gemma: 

Google also unveiled the next generation of Gemma AI model with claimed improvements in performance and efficiency. The new model has been optimized by TPUs and GPUs and comes with 27 billion parameters. 

Google announced its first vision language model, PaLI-3, to the Gemma family of models. The new models will be released in June. 

3) Ask Photos: 

Google is providing a Gemini AI-powered upgrade to Google Photos which will allow users to recall a specific picture based on a single prompt by the users. The new feature called ‘Ask Photos’ takes advantage of Gemini’s multimodal abilities to understand the context and subject object of a picture and furnish the image requested by the user.

For instance, users can ask Gemini questions related to a specific event, object or person and the AI assistant will instantly scan through the user’s gallery to scan for the corresponding images.

4) AI in Android: 

While Sundar Pichai and Co. didn’t reveal much information about what’s coming in the Android 15 update, Google did confirm it is bringing a number of AI capabilities to Android thanks to Gemini. Circle to Search, the popular AI feature seen on Pixel and Samsung devices, will now help students complete their homework by providing them with step-by-step instructions to solve a range of physics and math problems. 

The company also announced that Gemini Nano, it’s lightweight on-device large language model, will get multimodal capabilities meaning it will be able to understand information in sights, sounds and spoken language, apart from just text. Gemini Nano is also getting a new safety feature that will provide real time alerts during a call if the AI detects a conversation pattern commonly associated with scams.

Moreover, Google is also providing Gemini a major boost by allowing the AI assistant to overlay on  top of different apps on the screen. The new feature will allow users to use Gemini for tasks running on their screen. For instance, users will able to ask specific questions about a YouTube video or drag Gemini generated images directly into Gmail.

5) VEO, the Sora alternative we wanted:

Google challenged the dominance of OpenAI’s Sora with the introduction of its latest text-to-video generation model, Veo. The new model is capable to generating 1080p resolution videos with a range of cinematic and visual styles. Veo will also provide users with a greater level of control owing to its understanding of cinematic terms like ‘timelapse’ or ‘aerial shots of landscape’. 

6) AI search: 

Google is also revamping its search experience with AI, thanks to a new customized Gemini model made specifically for this purpose. The search giant will now provide quick summaries on any particular search topic with AI overviews, a feature which was in experimental stages till now with Google Search Generative Experience (SGE). 

The company will also roll out a new AI-organized search results page that will categorize the results under ‘unique’ AI-generated headlines. The new update will be available to users in the US from today and the new search page will initially be rolled out for dining and recipe searches, followed by others like movies, music, books, hotels and shopping.

7) Project Astra, Google’s answer to GPT-4o: 

Google went toe to toe with OpenAI on Tuesday with the introduction of Project Astra, a new AI agent called Project Astra. In a video showcased by Google, the AI assistant was able to identify the objects in the room, recognize and explain a specific part of the code, figure out its exact location by looking outside the window, find the user’s glasses and even find creative names for a dog. Moreover, Google showcased the use of Project Astra via a smartphone or smart glasses, suggesting that there could be a major Gemini-powered revamp to Google Lens down the road.



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Published: 15 May 2024, 10:25 AM IST

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