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Google introduces LearnLM, Gemini-based AI models for education and learning

By Liu Hongzuo - on 15 May 2024, 4:16am

Google introduces LearnLM, Gemini-based AI models for education and learning

LearnLM is specifically designed for education, where it taps into Google's Gemini AI smarts to create learning outcomes.

Of the many AI-related updates and announcements made during Google I/O 2024’s opening keynote, one important new feature is the launch of LearnLM.

LearnLM is a collection of Google-made large language models built specifically for education and learning. It helps support educators and students. An important feature of LearnLM is its approach to encouraging learning outcomes. Instead of spoon-feeding answers and solutions with the power of AI processing, LearnLM adapts to the learner, encourages curiosity, and even reflects on a learner’s progression with the help of AI.

LearnLM in everyday Google products and services

Google has added LearnLM to the following products and services, in addition to creating brand new categories of apps and software to showcase and truly implement education-focused AI.

For Android devices, Circle To Search can get help with math problems.

In Google Search, complex topics can be simplified for a student with a button. Students can choose to simplify the language or have the topic broken down.

For Android devices, Circle To Search can get help with math problems. However, instead of simply solving for “x”, Circle To Search provides the logical steps and formulas used to achieve a solution, and it’s also broken down into steps. According to Google, it can handle simple math problems now, with the ability to solve more complex problems (symbolic formulas, diagrams, graphs) “later”.

Chatting with Gemini now comes with Gems, a custom version of Gemini that acts as a personal expert on the topic. It can act as a learning coach, offer step-by-step study guidance, and even draft quizzes to help a student. With Gemini Advanced (a paid version of Gemini), users can customise Gems to suit a student’s learning style. 

YouTube lets learners use the “raise hand” function (figurative) when watching academic videos. This feature pulls up a Gemini chatbot for students to ask questions. However, this feature is only available to select Android users in the US.

Google is also piloting a new Google Classroom initiative through LearnLM to help educators simplify lesson planning. Teachers and lecturers can now easily find teaching ideas, materials, and content plans.

Google Labs additions: Illuminate and Learn About

Two new LearnLM-specific products also exist to aid learning on personal terms. Illuminate is experimental software on Google Labs that turns topics into a live, interactive podcast-style conversation with two AI-generated voices. As demonstrated at Google I/O 2024’s opening keynote, learners can even interrupt the “hosts” to ask questions, clarify, and even ask for analogies and examples mid-cast. 

Learn About, another Google Labs tool, is a conversational learning companion that adapts to the learner’s style of curiosity and learning goals. The AI educator guides a learner through the use of pictures, videos, webpages, and activities, and learners can even upload files and documents to clarify any questions they have.

You can check out Google’s technical report here to understand its approach to using and improving generative AI for education use cases.

Source: Google I/O 2024, The Keyword

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