Google’s top AI model, PaLM 2, hopes to upstage GPT-4 in generative mastery

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On Wednesday, Google introduced PaLM 2, a family of foundational language models comparable to OpenAI’s GPT-4. At its Google I/O event in Mountain View, Google revealed that it is already using PaLM 2 to power 25 different products, including its Bard conversational AI assistant.

As a family of large language models (LLMs), PaLM 2 has been trained on an enormous volume of data and does next-word prediction, which outputs the most likely text after a prompt input by humans. PaLM stands for “Pathways Language Model,” and in turn, “Pathways” is a machine-learning technique created at Google. PaLM 2 follows-up on the original PaLM, which Google announced in April 2022.

According to Google, PaLM 2 supports over 100 languages and can perform “reasoning,” code generation, and multi-lingual translation. During his 2023 Google I/O keynote, Google CEO Sundar Pichai said that PaLM 2 comes in four sizes: Gecko, Otter, Bison, Unicorn. Gecko is the smallest and can reportedly run on a mobile device. Aside from Bard, PaLM 2 is behind AI features in Docs, Sheets, and Slides.

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