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What is PaLM 2 – the backbone of Google AI, powering 25+ Products & Services?

What is PaLM-2?

We are in an era of biggest breakthroughs of Artificial Intelligence technology with multiple dozens of AI products and features rolling out every week. When OpenAI had teased ChatGPT and kickstarted the race of AI, Google has been striving on to show its significance in the AI realm and in the latest Google I/O event, the tech-giant overflowed with numerous AI products and services.

Notably while speaking about Google’s implementation of AI in every of its products, one thing is common in all of them – the generative AI of Google that powers and enhances them, which is nothing but ‘PaLM 2’.

This page is assured to entail you everything about Google’s PaLM 2.

Pathways Language Model 2 – PaLM 2

On Google I/O 2023, the firm introduced PaLM 2, which stands for Pathways Language Model 2.

PaLM 2 is Google’s next-gen language model and is the state-of-the-art AI models with improved multilingual, reasoning and coding abilities. PaLM 2, as the name suggests is Google’s approach of training a single model to do thousands or millions of things, upgrading itself over and over.

To get you a glance of how strong PaLM 2 is, this might help:

“PaLM 2 is a trained 540-Billion Parameter Language Model,” Google claims.

Trained with multimodal models, PaLM can encompass vision, auditory and language understanding simultaneously. PaLM 2 is heavily trained on multilingual text of over 100 languages, which enables it to understand, generate and translate nuanced texts – including idioms, poems and riddles.

The reasoning capability of PaLM 2 is exceptional, being tutored with wide-range of datasets including scientific papers, mathematical expressions and web pages. This makes it smart in logic, common sense reasoning and mathematics.

Coming to coding, PaLM 2 was pre-trained on publicly available source code datasets, enabling it to excel at popular programming languages like Python, JavaScript and so on.

  • PaLM 2 & Bard in Coding
  • Google AI fixing Code Errors

These capabilities proffered by PaLM 2 powered Bard to answer, interpret and code better. Bard knows 20 programming languages, Google said.

Google had done a great job here, by intermingling extensive capabilities under one umbrella – PaLM 2, that now happens to be the backbone of Google’s AI models. Thanks to a concept called “pathways” Google unveiled in 2021, that let to this bloom of PaLM – 2.

“Pathways” in PaLM-2 mean

Unlike developing a new model for specific uses, say an AI for Gmail, another AI for Maps, another for search and so on, Google brings everything under an umbrella – PaLM, an innovative idea of developing a single model for everything and creating ‘pathways’ for performing specific tasks. The Pathways concept of Google lets to develop large language model that can perform millions of tasks and execute them widely in its products & services.

The advantage of pathways is that, you can pull over the capability of one model to another model, whenever necessary, so you don’t have to start training the models from scratch every time. Say for example, learning how aerial images can predict the elevation of a landscape – could help it learn another task — say, predicting how flood waters will flow through that terrain.

Interestingly, though being a large model, it will activate only a single pathway when put into use, which will make the model faster and much more energy efficient. Likely as we have different parts of our brain specialized for different purposes, but performing a particular task will activate only that associated portion of our brain.

On testing, PaLM 2 showed intelligence surpassing that of an average human’s judged on 58 tasks.

PaLM 2 vs Humans
PaLM 2 tested with other models & human-level intelligence

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PaLM 2 now powers 25+ Google Products

In each & every place where Google deployed AI in its products, PaLM 2’s presence would be there. Starting from AI snapshots in the Google search, to Bard, to Gmail’s ‘Help me write’, to Google Messages’ ‘Magic Compose’, PaLM 2 is everywhere, powering 25+ products and features of Google and android.

Google’s focus in the implementation of PaLM 2 can be coupled to these areas for a quick and brief understanding – Bard, Workspace, Med-PaLM 2, Sec-PaLM and PaLM API.

Bard is Google’s AI search and also a chat tool, where users can step on for any questions, information, guides and so on.

Google Workspace equips AI for easing the task as effective and fast as it can. One such example is ‘Help me write’ of Gmail and Google Docs. It will also help you to organize Google Sheets and do a lot more.

Med-PaLM 2 deals with confronting users with medical related questions and knowledge, where you can consider Google as a doctor and show your X-rays and the AI will synthesize information from it and provide valuable insights or medical-oriented results of the X-ray. In fact, Med-PaLM 2 was the first language model to perform at “expert” level on medical licensing exam-style questions, and is currently the state of the art.

Sec-PaLM is a specialized version of PaLM 2 trained on security use cases for cybersecurity analysis. Available via Google Cloud, it uses AI to help analyze and explain malicious scripts, detect threats in scrips in an unprecedented time.

PaLM API is for developers, allowing them to gain leverage of this huge AI model for better development of apps and websites.

PaLM 2 is like a family with many models

PaLM 2 being a vast language model, Google differentiated it into four sizes for making it easy to deploy for a wide range of uses. And they go like – Gecko, Otter, Bison and Unicorn – named after animals, based on its deployment purpose, with gecko – being the smallest in size.

Gecko is so lightweight that it can work on mobile devices and is fast enough for great interactive applications on-device, even when offline. Google hadn’t yet disclosed the purposes of the other three.

This versatility means PaLM 2 can be fine-tuned to support entire classes of products in more ways, to help more people.

Google doesn’t stop there – Gemini is coming

Google contrived PaLM 2 by blending two of its AI research team together – its own Brain Team and DeepMind, a firm it acquired in 2014.

After PaLM 2, Google extends to a new next-generation foundation model – “Gemini”, that’s still in training phase.

Gemini was created from the ground up to be multimodal, highly efficient at tool and API integrations and built to enable future innovations, like memory and planning. While still early, Google already sees impressive multimodal capabilities in Gemini not seen in prior models.

Once fine-tuned and rigorously tested for safety, Gemini will be available at various sizes and capabilities, just like PaLM 2.

Google was incited by the AI race, and the results are profoundly overwhelming. Google is so futuristic in technology and research, that no company had ever been to. For instance, it has been clearing boundaries in “Quantum Computing” field, with many breakthroughs in recent years that no other company had ever achieved. And, future will bring a lot more from the tech-giant.

Hope you find the page useful!

(For more such interesting informational, technology and innovation stuffs, keep reading The Inner Detail).

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