Gemini Twins: Which Is Good? Which Is Evil? Think Hard

December 6, 2023

green-dino_thumb_thumb_thumbThis essay is the work of a dumb dinobaby. No smart software required.

I received a link to a Google DeepMind marketing demonstration Web page called “Welcome to Gemini.” To me, Gemini means Castor and Pollux. Somewhere along the line — maybe a wonky professor named Chapman — told my class that these two represented Zeus and Hades. Stated another way, one was a sort of “good” deity with a penchant for non-godlike behavior. The other downright awful most of the time. I assume that Google knows about Gemini, its mythological baggage, and the duality of a Superman type doing the trust, justice, American way, and the other inspiring a range of bad actors. Imagine. Something that is good and bad. That’s smart software I assume. The good part sells ads; the bad part fails at marketing perhaps?

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Two smart Googlers in New York City learn the difference between book learning for a PhD and street learning for a degree from the Institute of Hard Knocks. Thanks, MSFT Copilot. (Are you monitoring Google’s effort to dominate smart software by announcing breakthroughs very few people understand? Are you finding Google’s losses at the AI shell game entertaining?

Google’s blog post states with rhetorical aplomb:

Gemini is built from the ground up for multimodality — reasoning seamlessly across text, images, video, audio, and code.

Well, any other AI using Google’s previous technology is officially behind the curve. That’s clear to me. I wonder if Sam AI-Man, Microsoft, and the users of ChatGPT are tuned to the Google wavelength? There’s a video or more accurately more than a dozen of them, but I don’t like video so I skipped them all. There are graphs with minimal data and some that appear to jiggle in “real” time. I skipped those too. There are tables. I did read the some of the data and learned that Gemini can do basic arithmetic and “challenging” math like geometry. That is the 3, 4, 5 triangle stuff. I wonder how many people under the age of 18 know how to use a tape measure to determine if a corner is 90 degrees? (If you don’t, why not ask ChatGPT or MSFT Copilot.) I processed the twin’s size which come in three sizes. Do twins come in triples? Sigh. Anyway one can use Gemini Ultra, Gemini Pro, and Gemini Nano. Okay, but I am hung up on the twins and the three sizes. Sorry. I am a dinobaby. There are more movies. I exited the site and navigated to YCombinator’s Hacker News. Didn’t Sam AI-Man have a brush with that outfit?

You can find the comments about Gemini at this link. I want to highlight several quotations I found suggestive. Then I want to offer a few observations based on my conversation with my research team.

Here are some representative statements from the YCombinator’s forum:

  • Jansan said: Yes, it [Google] is very successful in replacing useful results with links to shopping sites.
  • FrustratedMonkey said: Well, deepmind was doing amazing stuff before OpenAI. AlphaGo, AlphaFold, AlphaStar. They were groundbreaking a long time ago. They just happened to miss the LLM surge.
  • Wddkcs said: Googles best work is in the past, their current offerings are underwhelming, even if foundational to the progress of others.
  • Foobar said: The whole things reeks of being desperate. Half the video is jerking themselves off that they’ve done AI longer than anyone and they “release” (not actually available in most countries) a model that is only marginally better than the current GPT4 in cherry-picked metrics after nearly a year of lead-time?
  • Arson9416 said: Google is playing catchup while pretending that they’ve been at the forefront of this latest AI wave. This translates to a lot of talk and not a lot of action. OpenAI knew that just putting ChatGPT in peoples hands would ignite the internet more than a couple of over-produced marketing videos. Google needs to take a page from OpenAI’s playbook.

Please, work through the more than 600 comments about Gemini and reach your own conclusions. Here are mine:

  1. The Google is trying to market using rhetorical tricks and big-brain hot buttons. The effort comes across to me as similar to Ford’s marketing of the Edsel.
  2. Sam AI-Man remains the man in AI. Coups, tension, and chaos — irrelevant. The future for many means ChatGPT.
  3. The comment about timing is a killer. Google missed the train. The company wants to catch up, but it is not shipping products nor being associated to features grade school kids and harried marketers with degrees in art history can use now.

Sundar Pichai is not Sam AI-Man. The difference has become clear in the last year. If Sundar and Sam are twins, which represents what?

Stephen E Arnold, December 6, 2023

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