Google supercharges cloud, Workspace with Gemini updates

Sibahle Malinga
By Sibahle Malinga, ITWeb senior news journalist.
Johannesburg, 09 Apr 2024
Thomas Kurian, CEO of Google Cloud.
Thomas Kurian, CEO of Google Cloud.

Google has introduced a number of product updates and enhancements across its cloud products, now integrating services with the latest version of Gemini, its multimodal artificial intelligence (AI) tool.

According to the internet search giant, users of Google Cloud can now access Gemini’s advanced AI tools across Google Workspace, Gemini Code Assist, enterprise data analytics, databases, cyber-security capabilities, compute, and networking services.

The upgrades will streamline tasks and boost productivity and security for businesses and users, says Google.

The announcement was made by Thomas Kurian, CEO of Google Cloud, at the company’s annual innovation and education conference, Next ’24. The two-day event kick-started today in Las Vegas.

Gemini is billed Google’s most capable AI model, trained on a massive dataset to generate text, translate languages and answer questions in an informative way. The AI tool can also generate images and provide links to information sources - optimised for three different sizes: Ultra, Pro and Nano.

“Today we are making significant announcements to drive customer success and momentum, including: Gemini 1.5 Pro, which includes a breakthrough in long context understanding, which will be going into public preview; new grounding capabilities in Vertex AI; Gemini Code Assist for developers, and much more,” explained Kurian.

“The potential for generative AI to drive rapid transformation for businesses, government and users is only as powerful as the infrastructure that underpins it. Google Cloud offers our AI Hyper-computer, an architecture that combines powerful Tensor Processing Units, graphics processing unit, AI software to provide an efficient and cost-effective way to train and serve models.”

Google’s Vertex AI platform helps organisations to access, augment, and deploy custom models to connect them with enterprise data and processes to roll out generative AI agents. Gemini for Google Cloud provides AI assistance to help users work and code more efficiently, while Gemini for Workspace is the agent built into Gmail, Docs, Sheets, and more.

“The next wave of enhancements to Gemini for Google Workspace include Google Vids, the new AI-powered video creation app, and AI Meetings and Messaging add-ons for chat summarisation. The new AI Security add-on for Workspace admins can now automatically classify and protect sensitive files and data using privacy-preserving AI models and data loss prevention controls,” said Kurian. 

The AI Security add-on is available for $10 per user per month and can be added to most Workspace plans.

The company also announced new or expanded partnerships with companies across diverse industries, including Bayer, Cintas, Discover Financial, Mercedes Benz, Palo Alto Networks, Verizon, WPP, and more.

Discussing updates to Google Cloud databases, Kurian said: “Now, data teams can use Gemini models for multi-modal and advanced reasoning for their existing data. This can help improve patient care for healthcare providers, streamline supply chains, and increase customer engagement across industries like telco, retail, and financial services.”