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Google’s Gemini Chatbot Lands in Canada

March 4, 2024


Google has introduced its artificial intelligence chatbot, now called Gemini, to the Canadian market. Formerly known as “Bard”, Gemini is a multimodal large language model (MLLM) that is a direct competitor to OpenAI’s ChatGPT and Microsoft’s Copilot (formerly called “Bing Chat”).

Similar to their competitors, Google is offering both free and premium versions of the chatbot. The free version is aimed at assisting users with their everyday needs, such as writing, planning and learning. The premium version, called Gemini Advanced, provides users with Google’s “most capable AI model” and is designed for “highly complex tasks”. Gemini Advanced is currently priced at $26.99 CAD per month.

In July 2023, Canada was among the few countries excluded from the initial international rollout of Bard. At the time, Google and the Federal Government were in negotiations regarding Bill C-18 and the Online News Act, which is designed to provide fair compensation to news publishers when digital platforms, such as Google and Meta, use their online content.

In November 2023, a few weeks before the Online News Act came into force, Google and the Federal Government reached an agreement where Google agreed to pay approximately $100 million annually to publishers. Ultimately, this agreement helped clear the path for launching Gemini in Canada.

Author: Josh Sloan, 2023/2024 Articling Student


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