Google has ended its free access to the Gemini API for developers, signaling an end to the party for those seeking AI freebies. There are also rumors that the tech giant may start charging for AI search queries in the near future.


Google’s decision to discontinue free access to its Gemini API, signaling a new financial strategy within its AI development ecosystem, has left developers contemplating a future where AI-powered results may come at a cost. Speculations abound that Google might introduce charges for AI search queries, especially with the potential launch of a premium search option leveraging generative AI technology.

Previously, developers enjoyed complimentary access to Google’s AI offerings to draw them away from competitors like OpenAI. However, with OpenAI having already monetized its APIs and LLM access, Google seems poised to follow suit. The days of unrestricted free access seem numbered as Google shifts its focus towards commercializing its cloud and AI Studio services.

In a recent communication to developers, Google announced the discontinuation of its PaLM API, which was used for building custom chatbots, through AI Studio as of August 15. The company is nudging users towards adopting the stable Gemini 1.0 Pro, highlighting the smooth transition to avoid service disruptions. The transition entails using the same API key for accessing Gemini models through Google AI SDKs, with pricing for the paid plan starting at $7 for one million input tokens and rising to $21 for the same number of output tokens.

While PaLM and Gemini will still be accessible to customers subscribed to Vertex AI in Google Cloud, it poses a dilemma for regular developers with limited budgets who typically rely on AI Studio due to affordability constraints. This development underscores Google’s strategic shift towards monetizing its AI offerings and streamlining access for paying customers.

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