Google Reveals Why Its AI Model Is Named Gemini

I’m pretty sure that all of us have been slapped with the “What does your name mean?” question, especially if our names are a tad inconspicuous. But, why does it matter? When you know the origins of something, it’s easier to develop a connection with it somehow. Google probably thought the same and took a deep dive into why Gemini is called Gemini.

The tech giant reached out to its DeepMind team to unravel the Gemini AI naming tale and was kind enough to share its findings via a blog post recently. So, allow me to take you through the rather cosmic origins of an AI model that’s out to change our lives.

The Titan Beginning of Gemini

Initially, the project was titled Titan, after Saturn’s largest moon. However, Gemini’s co-technical lead, Jeff Dean, had a different plan for it. For this project, Google Research’s Brain Team and DeepMind joined hands in April 2023.

Well, since Gemini means “twins” in Latin, it only made sense to name the project after. For those unaware, the Gemini constellation’s twin stars are called Castor and Pollux. Clever, eh?

In the words of Jeff himself,

The Gemini effort came about because we wanted to bring our teams working on language modeling closer together. I felt the twins aspect of the name ‘Gemini’ was a great fit. The twins here are the folks in the legacy Brain team and the legacy DeepMind team, who started to work together on this ambitious multimodal model project.

Gemini AI: The Space Connection

Google Gemini AI NASA inspiration
Image Courtesy: Google (Edited by Sagnik Das Gupta)

It doesn’t end there though, for Gemini signs are known to have dual personalities right? The naming scheme also has a two-fold inspiration, as a result. The other inspiration was drawn from NASA’s Gemini Project.

This was NASA’s early spaceflight program, which was to prepare astronauts for crewed flights to the moon with the Apollo back in the 1960s. It led to the Gemini 4 mission in 1965, making Ed White the first American to walk in space.

These are more than just feats. They are incredible feats of humankind and have shaped our space exploration over the years. Just as there wouldn’t be any Apollo without Gemini, Gemini AI wouldn’t have existed without Google DeepMind.

While human beings are already constantly trying to achieve new heights on the outside (Earth), the blog says that “Gemini’s era is just the beginning,” to solve problems on the inside. However, don’t think of ‘Gemini’ as the end of this naming scheme.

Gemini’s co-technical lead, Oriol Vinyals, hinted at a possible Apollo naming as well by adding,

Now the question is, will there be a follow-up to Gemini named Apollo?

Oriol further adds to it by saying how landing upon Gemini as the name for the AI model can exude the feeling of constant improvement and striving for creativity and innovation. Like I said before, the origins and naming matter, big time.

I don’t know about you, but I’m certainly a bit more hopeful for Gemini. The Google I/O event already injected the AI model into most of its services, like Chrome and Gmail. There’s a lot more to come though, especially since Google’s ultimate objective is to obtain “infinite tokens” with it. Not to mention, most importantly, “build AI responsibly” as well.

What do you think about it? Was Gemini the way to go for Google? Drop your thoughts in the comments down below!

Comments 1
  • Jack says:

    Thanks for dropping for what I was looking for. Hope Apollo follows as Gemini sustains.

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