Google launched new features for Search and Lens in an update to help users solve difficult math, physics, and geometry problems, the company said in a blog post Monday. Simply type an equation into the search bar, or take a picture of your homework with Lens, and the update will provide you with a step-by-step explanation and solution. It’s a whole new world for cheaters.
Large language models help students solve a wide range of problems in Google’s latest update. The rise of ChatGPT and its shocking ability to write essays at a 6th-grade level concerned school administrations nationwide. Google capitalized on the same homework-solving capabilities with its latest update in an even more convenient, familiar location: the search bar. As the search engine faces federal scrutiny for monopolistic tendencies, the company curries favor with high schoolers.
The new tools also work with word problems, specifically highlighting ones commonly found in physics homework. These problems are particularly difficult to look up answers to, but large language models make it quick and easy to solve them. Users can also take pictures of certain geometry problems and use Google Lens to provide the solutions, as reported by TechCrunch Wednesday.
Large language models originally faced intense scrutiny in learning environments for allowing students to easily cheat on their homework. New York City public schools initially banned the usage of ChatGPT, but then lifted its ban at the end of last school year. The head of the city’s public school said it’s crucial that students learn to work within a world using generative AI. OpenAI CEO Sam Altman and several experts echo the sentiment, saying that fears around cheating are overblown, comparing the use of ChatGPT to using calculators – they’re simply tools.