Circle to Search is now a better homework helper

It’s a teacher’s worst nightmare: The AI is doing the kids’ homework. At the Google I/O 2024 developer conference on Tuesday, the company announced that its AI-powered Circle to Search feature, which allows Android users to get instant answers using gestures like circling, will now be able to solve more complex problems across psychics and math word problems.

The new capabilities are made possible thanks to Google’s new family of AI models for learning, LearnLM.

The addition expands the capabilities of the new search feature, first introduced at Samsung’s Unpacked event in January. Circle to Search is designed to make it more natural to engage with Google Search from anywhere on the phone by taking some action — like circling, highlighting, scribbling, or tapping. But it's also a way to ensure users engage with Google Search over other information-retrieval tools in the age of AI.

Today, Circle to Search will be able to better help kids with their homework directly from supported Android phones and tablets. Now if they get stuck on a particularly hard problem, they’ll be able to use Circle to Search to pull up step-by-step instructions that guide them through solving it. Google says the feature will be able to handle problems such as those with symbolic formulas, diagrams, graphs, and more.

Since launching earlier this year, Circle to Search has expanded to more Samsung and Google Pixel devices, making the feature available to more than 100 million devices in total. Google says it expects to double that number by year-end.

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Read more about Google I/O 2024 on TechCrunch
Read more about Google I/O 2024 on TechCrunch