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Generative AI

Google Introduces New LearnLM Models for Students, Gemini Features for Education

Google is fine-tuning its various generative AI technologies to meet the needs of educators, the company revealed at its Google I/O conference. 

"Generative AI is fundamentally changing how we're approaching learning and education, enabling powerful new ways to support educators and learners," wrote Ben Gomes, head of Learning & Education at Google, in a blog post. "It's taking curiosity and understanding to the next level — and we're just at the beginning of how it can help us reimagine learning."

To help educators do just that, Google is launching a new AI model for students called LearnLM. It is also bringing integration with its flagship Gemini AI model to Google Workspace for Education.

New LearnLM Models

Based on the Gemini AI models, the new LearnLM model family is "fine-tuned for learning," said Gomes. Google designed it to meet the following five goals all related to student advancement:

  • Inspire active learning: Allow for practice and healthy struggle with timely feedback;
  • Manage cognitive load: Present relevant, well-structured information in multiple modalities;
  • Adapt to the learner: Dynamically adjust to goals and needs, grounding in relevant materials;
  • Stimulate curiosity: Inspire engagement to provide motivation through the learning journey; and
  • Deepen metacognition: Plan, monitor, and help the learner reflect on progress.

Google is preparing to roll out LearnLM to several of its products. On Android devices, for instance, LearnLM will work within the Circle to Search feature to help users solve complex math problems on sight. In Google Search, LearnLM will be able to rephrase or recontextualize specific content to make it easier for the user to understand. An integration with the YouTube app for Android will let viewers interact with videos to, for example, ask questions or get clarification on the presentation they're watching.

Gemini in Google Workspace for Education

Education licensees of Google Workspace will be able to access the Gemini AI assistant across the entire cloud productivity suite.

Starting May 23, they will be able to purchase one of two add-ons: the starter-level Gemini Education and the more feature-rich Gemini Education Premium. There is no minimum purchase requirement for either add-on, though they are limited to Google Workspace for Education users aged 18 and over. The basic Gemini Education add-on also has a monthly usage cap.

Google promises "enterprise-grade data protection" with the Gemini add-ons. It also plans to introduce in the coming months, at no cost, "added data protection" for users who access Gemini using their school accounts. This forthcoming security perk will mean data from these users' interactions with Gemini won't be used to train Google's AI models, nor shared with other organizations or users, including Google employees.

Other Announcements

Other education-related tidbits from Google I/O this week include:

  • The upcoming ability to make custom Gemini assistants, called "Gems," that are topic- or task-specific. There are also pre-made Gems, the first of which, dubbed "learning coach," will become available in the next few months. This Gem helps users "in building knowledge by providing step-by-step study guidance, along with helpful practice activities like quizzes and games," said Gomes.
  • The launch of a new pilot program within Google Classrom that aims to help teachers make lesson plans using AI.
  • Two new AI learning tools in development. The first, "Illuminate," aims to distill complex or lengthy research papers into an easier-to-understand dialog between two AI-generated voices. The second tool, "Learn About," is a multimodal, natural language teaching assistant.
  • An online course called "Generative AI for Educators" developed with MIT's RAISE (Responsible AI for Social Empowerment and Education) initiative to innovate learning and education in the era of AI.

About the Author

Gladys Rama (@GladysRama3) is the editorial director of Converge360.

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