Thursday, June 20, 2024

OpenAI and Google are launching supercharged AI assistants. Here’s how you can try them out.

Computer scienceOpenAI and Google are launching supercharged AI assistants. Here's how you can try them out.

On Tuesday, Google announced its own new tools, including a conversational assistant called Gemini Live, which can do many of the same things. It also revealed that it’s building a sort of “do-everything” AI agent, which is currently in development but will not be released until later this year.

Soon you’ll be able to explore for yourself to gauge whether you’ll turn to these tools in your daily routine as much as their makers hope, or whether they’re more like a sci-fi party trick that eventually loses its charm. Here’s what you should know about how to access these new tools, what you might use them for, and how much it will cost. 

OpenAI’s GPT-4o

What it’s capable of: The model can talk with you in real time, with a response delay of about 320 milliseconds, which OpenAI says is on par with natural human conversation. You can ask the model to interpret anything you point your smartphone camera at, and it can provide assistance with tasks like coding or translating text. It can also summarize information, and generate images, fonts, and 3D renderings. 

How to access it: OpenAI says it will start rolling out GPT-4o’s text and vision features in the web interface as well as the GPT app, but has not set a date. The company says it will add the voice functions in the coming weeks, although it’s yet to set an exact date for this either. Developers can access the text and vision features in the API now, but voice mode will launch only to a “small group” of developers initially.

How much it costs: Use of GPT-4o will be free, but OpenAI will set caps on how much you can use the model before you need to upgrade to a paid plan. Those who join one of OpenAI’s paid plans, which start at $20 per month, will have five times more capacity on GPT-4o. 

Google’s Gemini Live 

What is Gemini Live? This is the Google product most comparable to GPT-4o—a version of the company’s AI model that you can speak with in real time. Google says that you’ll also be able to use the tool to communicate via live video “later this year.” The company promises it will be a useful conversational assistant for things like preparing for a job interview or rehearsing a speech.

How to access it: Gemini Live launches in “the coming months” via Google’s premium AI plan, Gemini Advanced. 

How much it costs: Gemini Advanced offers a two-month free trial period and costs $20 per month thereafter. 

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