Google could put a price tag on Bard's brainpower

Google Bard interface
(Image credit: Andrew Myrick / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Bard Advanced seems to be coming, and it might cost you after a free three-month trial.
  • Gemini Ultra, Google's most powerful large language model announced in December, is behind Bard Advanced.
  • Bard Advanced might be linked to a Google One subscription, although the specific subscription tier remains shrouded in mystery.

Google appears to be gearing up to drop a paid version of Bard, marking the company's first shot at making you pay for an AI chatbot.

Developer and cybersecurity enthusiast Bedros Pambouk on X (formerly Twitter) has discovered code on Bard's website, which suggests that you can snag three months of Bard Advanced for free (via Android Police).

However, it looks like you'll be reaching for your wallet after that. A Google One link was also found in the code string, although it's not operational at the moment, hinting that a subscription might be needed to unlock Bard Advanced.

We're still in the dark about whether Bard Advanced will be part of all Google One packages or just the more expensive ones that offer extra Google Drive space. It is also possible that Bard's paid version will be available as a standalone tier within the Google One family.

Back in December 2023, Google dropped its most powerful large language model yet, called Gemini. It comprises of three versions to choose from, including a mobile-friendly Nano version and a Pro version that powers Bard in the United States.

Meanwhile, the more advanced version, Gemini Ultra, is still waiting in the wings, not officially out in the wild yet. That said, Google revealed that this powerhouse is the muscle behind Bard Advanced. The company even threw shade at OpenAI's GPT-4, boasting that Gemini Ultra can outshine it in its benchmarks. But before it hits the stage, Google's running some safety checks to make sure it's reliable.

At present, Google is putting Bard Advanced through the ropes with a select few users—probably why the code is out in the open. As for the grand debut, there's no official date yet. But Google teased last month that it's dropping "early next year," so keep your eyes peeled because it could become public any day now.

Jay Bonggolto
News Writer & Reviewer

Jay Bonggolto always keeps a nose for news. He has been writing about consumer tech and apps for as long as he can remember, and he has used a variety of Android phones since falling in love with Jelly Bean. Send him a direct message via Twitter or LinkedIn.