Google Gemini 1.5 Review: Million-Token AI Changes Everything : Hector Martinez

Google Gemini 1.5 Review: Million-Token AI Changes Everything
by: Hector Martinez
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Google Gemini 1.5 Review: Million-Token AI Changes Everything

Well, the Artificial intelligence (AI) race continues with Google Announcing Gemini 1.5, the next generation Google Large Language Model (LLM).

Let’s explore what we know about Gemini 1.5 now and why you might be interested in Gemini 1.5 when it is released.

What Is a Large Language Model (LLM)?

What the Heck Is a Large Language Model (LLM)?

Okay, confession time: you’ve heard the term “large language model” tossed around lately, likely mixed with words like “AI” and “chatbot.” Maybe you’ve even played with a fancy AI like ChatGPT and been completely blown away. It’s understandable if it all feels overwhelming and a bit too futuristic. Let’s break this down in a way that’ll make those brain gears happily spin without making you feel like you need a computer science degree to understand.

The Brain Behind the Chatbot

Think of an LLM like a supercharged parrot. Just like a parrot learns human language by listening and mimicking, an LLM has been trained on a mind-boggling amount of text data — code, books, articles, you name it! But here’s where it gets cool: instead of just squawking back memorized phrases, an LLM “understands” the patterns and relationships within language.

It’s like it develops its own internal grammar and vocabulary encyclopedia on a scale that even the smartest linguist would envy.

What Does That Actually Mean?

This “understanding” means LLMs are ridiculously versatile:

  • Chatbots that feel almost human: LLMs power super-realistic conversations, going beyond canned responses to provide genuinely informative or witty interactions.
  • Write that email for me: They’ll draft summaries, translate languages, and even write entire blog posts (okay, maybe not ones quite as engaging as this, but we’re getting there!).
  • Help me code: LLMs understand even complex programming languages, assisting with problem-solving and making your coding life easier.

Are LLMs Going to Take My Job? (And Other Burning Questions)

This kind of tech can bring up fears of robot overlords, but honestly, we’re not quite there yet. LLMs are awesome tools, not sentient beings plotting world domination. Like any tool, they can be used for good or bad — it’s up to us humans to figure out the responsible way to play with this power.

What Is Google Gemini?

What the Heck Is Google Gemini?

Alright, so if you’re into AI and keeping up with the latest tech buzz, you’ve probably stumbled upon the name “Gemini.” No, it’s not some super-advanced NASA telescope (though that’d be cool too!). Google Gemini is their super-powered family of large language models (LLMs) designed to shake things up in the AI world.

Okay, but why “Gemini”?

Think of it like the Gemini constellation — multiple stars working in tandem. With Gemini, Google’s not just working with one LLM, but a whole collection:

  • Gemini Advanced: This bad boy runs on their top-of-the-line 1.0 Ultra model. Need complex problem-solving or super creative text generation? That’s Advanced’s turf.
  • Gemini 1.0 Pro: Your solid all-rounder. Think smooth conversations, good understanding, and generation — the AI workhorse powering many existing Google products.
  • Gemini 1.5 Pro: Now, this one’s the wild card. 1.5 Pro handles massive chunks of information and might even ‘see’ images/videos alongside text. It’s like the AI analyst of the family.

Why Should I Care?

Gemini models push the limits on what AI can do:

  • Human-like Conversations: Forget those clunky chatbots of the past. Imagine AI that actually gets the nuance of your questions and holds fluid conversations.
  • Unleash Your Inner Genius: Have crazy creative ideas but struggle to get them down? Gemini can help translate your half-baked thoughts into full-fledged stories, poems, and even code.
  • Research Assistant on Steroids: Need to make sense of piles of documents fast? Gemini can pull summaries and insights for you with lightning speed.

What’s the Catch?

Access is a mixed bag. Gemini Advanced is likely locked behind premium subscriptions (think Google One on steroids). Meanwhile, Gemini 1.0 Pro might be found in regular Google services. That super-analyst 1.5 Pro? That one’s probably still in the lab for now.

Google Gemini 1.5 Reaction

Gemini 1.5 is said to have a 10M token context window.

That’s not a typo — 10M tokens!

That’s… well, unbelievable. What could you do with a 10M token context window? We don’t know yet, and neither does Google.

Google Gemini Goes Big: Breaking Boundaries with Million-Token AI Conversations

Google DeepMind just pulled back the curtain on a giant leap forward in AI — Gemini 1.5 Pro, boasting the longest context window in any large-scale foundation language model. It can process up to a million tokens simultaneously, holding richer, more complex conversations and processing more significant amounts of information than ever before.

But What Does This Really Mean?

  • AI with Enhanced Memory: Picture an AI that doesn’t just forget your question mid-conversation, but actively remembers the details of a lengthy article you fed it minutes ago, connecting it with new information it just learned. That’s closer to reality now.
  • Hyper-Efficient Analysis: Forget summarizing short documents; imagine dropping a thousand-page report into Gemini, asking it to pinpoint key relationships between data points buried deep within. AI analysis suddenly becomes exceptionally powerful.
  • AI Code Guru: Instead of merely analyzing a few snippets, Gemini 1.5 Pro could scan massive codebases to understand them as a whole. It might write documentation or troubleshoot with an expertise that currently takes years of developer experience.

Cool Stories? Yes, Google Has Those

The DeepMind team isn’t just theorizing. They’ve already tested this tech, giving some exciting glimpses of what’s possible:

  • Automatically generated documentation for an entire codebase with minimal input.
  • Accurately answering questions about the 1924 film “Sherlock Jr.” after “watching” the whole movie.
  • Learning to translate English into Kalamang (a rare language with less than 200 speakers!) after being given the grammar manual and some examples.

The Bigger Picture

This breakthrough isn’t just about flashy demonstrations. It signifies a potential shift in how we interact with AI and information:

  • Conversational AI Elevated: The potential for truly human-like conversation gets a serious boost. We might get closer to those sci-fi style companions many have dreamed about.
  • A Step Toward “Understanding”: While true AI “understanding” is still far off, Gemini reaching deep into context hints at models that grasp overarching patterns and themes within vast amounts of data.
  • The Need for Responsibility: As these models get more powerful, ethical use, guarding against bias, and transparency become even more crucial. Google will need to address these just as seriously as the AI’s technological leaps.

What to Expect Next

Google is far from finished. It’s hinted at the ability to process 10 million tokens in research projects, along with potential hardware optimization. Meanwhile, developers are now invited to experiment with the 1 million token context window in a limited preview — I expect we’ll see a wave of innovative applications that were simply impossible before.

If you’ve enjoyed this blog post so far, you’ll probably enjoy our Introduction to Gemini Pro Vision.

Splashing Cold Water on Gemini 1.5

This is all exciting news, and I can’t wait to be able to upload entire books to Gemini 1.5 and ask for a summary, action plan, and custom to-do list to implement everything recommended in the book.

That’s going to be amazing.

Or, when we’re able to upload an entire monster code base and have it learn the entire codebase in one prompt — I mean… that’s mind blowing.

But… I’ll believe it when I see it.

Google has been known to exaggerate claims for some products.

Gemini Advanced vs. Gemini 1.0 Pro

Gemini Advanced and Gemini 1.0 Pro are both sophisticated large language models built by Google. The main differentiator lies in the underlying model they use and the capabilities that result from this.

Gemini Advanced

  • Model: Powered by the cutting-edge Gemini 1.0 Ultra language model, offering Google’s greatest technological achievements in AI.
  • Capabilities:
    • Excels at complex reasoning, enabling nuanced problem-solving.
    • Offers stronger creative text generation abilities for various needs.
    • Can execute precise instructions and respond thoroughly to requests.
    • Highly capable of following detailed user directions.
  • Availability: Typically provided on a subscription basis or tied to premium services like Google One AI Premium.

Gemini 1.0 Pro

  • Model: A proficient language model, likely an earlier version within the Gemini model family.
  • Capabilities:
    • Handles conversational tasks well.
    • Processes and understands information effectively.
    • Generates different creative text formats.
  • Availability: Often bundled as the standard AI within some of Google’s products and services.

Key Differences

  1. Model Size and Complexity: Gemini Advanced runs on the 1.0 Ultra model, likely surpassing 1.0 Pro in sophistication and scale. This allows for greater understanding and more comprehensive responses.
  2. Capabilities: Gemini Advanced outperforms 1.0 Pro in several areas:
    • Complex Tasks: Gemini Advanced tackles more intricate questions and problem-solving scenarios due to its enhanced reasoning skills.
    • Creativity: Its ability to produce high-quality creative text formats surpasses that of 1.0 Pro.
    • Following Instructions: Gemini Advanced demonstrates superior adherence to detailed and nuanced user prompts.
  3. Cost and Access: 1.0 Pro is usually more readily available within standard Google services, while Gemini Advanced often requires a premium subscription or enterprise plan.

Gemini Advanced vs. Gemini 1.5 Pro

Gemini Advanced

  • Model: Gemini 1.0 Ultra, the pinnacle of Google’s standard language models (not considering multimodal capabilities).
  • Focus:
    • Unparalleled reasoning and problem-solving.
    • High-quality creative text generation.
    • Strong in accurately following instructions.

Gemini 1.5 Pro

  • Model: Likely a different, highly advanced Gemini model, potentially with a longer context window.
  • Focus:
    • Extremely long input processing (massive context window for information analysis)
    • Potential multimodal capabilities (understanding images, audio, perhaps even video alongside text)
    • Designed to excel at summarization and analysis of vast amounts of information

Key Differences

  1. Core Strength:
    • Gemini Advanced is the king of intricate reasoning and creativity within standard language tasks.
    • Gemini 1.5 Pro is built for handling vast inputs to extract insights, summaries, and translations. It may also analyze various types of media seamlessly.
  2. Context Window: Gemini 1.5 Pro boasts a substantially larger context window (the amount of information it can retain during a conversation). This means it shines when sifting through and pulling key points from lengthy text/code or analyzing the content of an image or audio along with the text.
  3. Multimodal Ability: Gemini 1.5 Pro likely features at least some multimodal capabilities. Gemini Advanced may focus purely on text-based tasks.

Choosing the Right Model

  • Gemini Advanced: Opt for this if you need:
    • The absolute best Google AI for nuanced reasoning on complex problems within conversational format.
    • Highly creative text generation (stories, poems, code, etc.).
    • Precision responses tailored to detailed instructions.
  • Gemini 1.5 Pro: Select this if your tasks involve:
    • Summarizing extensive text, documents, or codebases.
    • Handling extremely long conversations and remembering their details.
    • Analysis of images, audio, or potentially video alongside your text interactions

Gemini Advanced vs. 1.0 Pro vs. 1.5 Pro

For a deeper understanding of the distinct capabilities within the Gemini family, refer to Table 1. It lays out a clear comparison across key areas like the underlying model, context processing, and potential multimodal features. This will be particularly helpful if your project sits outside the typical use cases outlined above. For instance, if you’re primarily focused on conversational AI and general text generation, Gemini 1.0 Pro might be a perfect fit. However, if you need groundbreaking levels of analysis and understanding across multiple media types, exploring Gemini 1.5 Pro’s early access might be the path forward.

Here’s a side-by-side comparison of all Gemini options from Google:

Table 1: Comparative overview of the different models within the Google Gemini family of large language models (LLMs) (source: Adapted from Google AI Blog announcements, research papers, and the author’s understanding of the Gemini model development).

How to Get Gemini 1.5 Access

Are you eager to get your hands on the cutting-edge power of Gemini 1.5 Pro, boasting that insane million-token context window? Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to join the waitlist within Vertex AI:


  • Google Cloud Platform (GCP) Account: If you don’t have one already, you’ll need a GCP account to use Vertex AI.
  • Vertex AI Project: Create a project within Vertex AI where you’ll want to experiment with Gemini 1.5 Pro.
  • Waitlist Availability: Currently, access to Gemini 1.5 Pro’s full 1-million token context capability is in private preview with limited availability. So, patience will be key!

The Waitlist Application Process

  1. Access Vertex AI: From your GCP console, navigate to the Vertex AI service (Figure 1).
  2. Locate AI Studio: You should see “AI Studio” listed on the Vertex AI navigation menu or dashboard.
  3. Join the Waitlist: Within AI Studio, there should be a clear indication or notification about the Gemini 1.5 Pro waitlist. Find this and follow the application steps (Figure 2).
  4. Be Clear and Concise: Google will likely inquire about your intended use cases for Gemini 1.5 Pro. Prepare well-defined explanations. Strong, innovative use cases could potentially get you bumped up the priority list.
  5. Wait and Stay Informed: Google will handle approvals on a rolling basis. Remember, access is limited. Keep an eye on official Google AI blog posts or the Vertex AI documentation for updates on the program’s expansion.
Gemini 1.5 Pro application
Figure 1: Vertex AI service (source: Google Cloud Platform (GCP)).
Gemini 1.5 Pro Waitlist form
Figure 2: Gemini 1.5 Pro model waitlist (source: Google).

Context vs. True Understanding — The Limits of a Supercharged Parrot

Gemini 1.5 boasts that insane million-token memory, right? This allows it to remember past conversations and details even within the super lengthy text it processes. That’s incredibly impressive, and it might trick us into thinking it truly “gets” things. But here’s the catch: context and understanding aren’t synonyms. Let’s use an example:

Scenario: You introduce Gemini 1.5 to the concept of love. You give it poems, novels, and philosophical essays, all exploring the subject. Later, you ask, “Can love be truly selfless?”

Possible Gemini 1.5 Responses:

  • Context-heavy: The AI might regurgitate a snippet from a fed essay or synthesize ideas from multiple sources: “Philosophers debate this idea extensively. Some argue love is inherently based on reciprocity, while others believe a sacrifice for the one you love demonstrates purest intent.”
  • Pattern-focused: It could even generate new but surface-level text: “Love is complex. It can be joyful, painful, and transformative. There is no easy answer to whether it can be selfless.”

Why This Isn’t Understanding: Notice, these very plausible responses don’t actually answer the question directly. The AI expertly summarizes past input and produces similar text, but it’s missing the critical ability to:

  • Apply Abstract Concepts: Love and selflessness are not tangible like “apple” or “table.” True understanding means grasping how these ideas influence actions and motivations outside the scope of what you fed the AI.
  • Reason with Nuance: Could Gemini 1.5 consider different cultural perspectives on love? Could it connect this concept to similar yet subtly different ideas like duty or devotion? True understanding often reveals those underlying shades of meaning.

Gemini 1.5 is an incredible tool, but it remains just that — a tool. It excels at processing information and patterns within language, not generating genuinely novel insights that demonstrate a deep comprehension of its subject.

When Language Is a Weapon — Ethical Hazards of Advanced LLMs

Remember how LLMs learn from the data they’re given? Well, guess what’s often hidden within massive quantities of text — human bias, stereotypes, and the potential for toxic language. Powerful LLMs like Gemini, in the wrong hands, can amplify these harms:

  • Disinformation on Steroids: Imagine an AI that crafts super-convincing but completely false news articles tailored to target specific groups with inflammatory language. These spread faster than anything a human could write.
  • Hyper-Personalized Manipulation: AI-crafted phishing emails are so eerily on-target that even savvy people get fooled. Or imagine online social bots that can mimic trusted friends and subtly weave in persuasive yet hateful ideologies over time.
  • Sci-Fi Made Reality: Remember HAL 9000 from 2001: A Space Odyssey? A resentful AI capable of eloquent lies and psychological warfare is chilling, even in fiction. We’re far from that with Gemini, but it reminds us we can’t just build the AI; we need checks and balances.

Responsible Development is Key

Gemini and LLMs like it are the future. This makes these questions critical:

  • Bias Mitigation: How does Google actively reduce inherent bias in the data Gemini trains on? The output is only as good as the input.
  • Safeguards: What are the barriers in place to prevent malicious actors from exploiting this tech? Is there transparent misuse reporting with swift action by Google?
  • Openness: It’s great Gemini’s not a “black box,” but understanding its limitations is crucial. Can Google foster collaboration with academia to analyze the models and identify potential ethical red flags?

Where Are We Going with AI and LLMs?

Gemini 1.5 stands as a milestone in AI development. Just imagine the incredible tools for creativity and analysis it might enable. Yet, its long context window doesn’t equal true comprehension, nor does it prevent misuse. The potential power within these LLMs demands a parallel focus on ethics and transparency. As AI marches forward, it isn’t just about what we can build, but about how we choose to wield it wisely.

Gemini is seriously impressive, but the potential for abuse and the lack of true AI understanding needs to be taken just as seriously. Let’s appreciate the incredible power of these language models while ensuring they do more to elevate than manipulate.

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March 04, 2024 at 07:30PM
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The original post is available in PyImageSearch by Hector Martinez
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