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This is why Google named its AI model ‘twins’

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Google’s Gemini AI also has a name story like other products and services in the market. While the AI ​​model got its first public mention at Google I/O 2023, its placeholder name was “Titan” in the early stages of development, which is also the name of Saturn’s largest moon.

That’s according to Gemini co-technical lead Jeff Dean, who wasn’t a huge fan of the name, but it got him looking around for something “designed in space.”

The name of Gemini has several references. For example, Gemini is Latin for “twins.” The name refers to the constellation known as Gemini, reflecting the merger of Google Brain and DeepMind in 2023 to become Google DeepMind.

B Google blog postJeff explained:

The twin effort came about because we wanted to bring together our teams working on language modeling. I felt that the twin aspect of the name ‘Gemini’ was very appropriate. The twins here are the people on the Legacy Brain Team and the Legacy DeepMind Team, who started working together on this ambitious multimodal modeling project.

Google says there’s a double meaning behind the name of its AI model. The model’s ability to handle different types of data aligns with Gemini’s two-natured personality, “able to adapt quickly, connect with a wide variety of people, and see things from multiple perspectives.”

NASA’s early lunar photography program, Project Gemini, became another space-related inspiration for the artificial intelligence model. Project Gemini was the second US human spaceflight program designed to “test equipment and techniques for sustaining astronauts in space for extended periods of time” prior to the Apollo mission which took men to the moon for the first time.

The AI ​​team resonated with the project’s success, and the name “Gemini” “stuck” when Jeff suggested it in a Google document the team was working on, according to Gemini CTO Oriol Vinales.

I was immediately sold on the name, because the monumental effort of training LLMs echoed the spirit of launching rockets. It was very fitting to name the most ambitious project we ever embarked on as Gemini.

Last year, Google released Gemini in different sizes: Pro, Nano and Ultra. According to Oriol, the team considered naming different twin models around “the names of the stars in the universe, since there are quite a few different sizes, like our models.”

It remains to be seen if Oriol hinted at a Gemini successor by saying, “Now the question is, will there be a sequel to Gemini named Apollo?”

Recently, Google introduced Gemini 1.5 Pro and a newer model 1.5 Flash at the Google I/O developer conference, alongside new features for Android, AI Overviews for Search, and the Ask Photos assistant.

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