Google Amps Up AI Tools with AI-powered Math Tutor ‘Photomath’

Google’s ‘Photomath’ application is now reportedly being powered by artificial intelligence (AI), being the latest app in the tech giant’s lineup of AI-powered productivity tools.

Google revealed in May 2022 that it was purchasing the app Photomath, which solves math problems. After a regulatory assessment, the acquisition finished last year, but Google did not launch the app under its name on the Play Store until recently.

With Photomath, users can snap a photo of any math equation-including word problems-and receive detailed instructions on how to answer it. Calculus, algebra, geometry, trigonometry, statistics, and elementary math are all supported.

(Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
A sign is posted in front of a building on the Google campus on January 31, 2022 in Mountain View, California.
Photomath moved to Google’s publisher account on the Play Store and iOS App Store earlier this week. It has received 4.5 ratings and more than 100 million downloads on Android. For $9.99 a month or $69.99 a year, the program offers an optional Photomath Plus membership that includes "Textbook Solutions," animated tutorials, and thorough explanations.

While Google Search provides specialized assistance for geometry, calculus, and trigonometry, Google Lens already has a noticeable "Homework" filter that allows users to snap pictures of mathematic problems. Google Lens and Search are expected by reports to eventually incorporate photomath-specific features.

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AI-Powered Math Solver Applications
AI-powered math problem solvers are not an entirely new premise as back in September of last year, Jerome Pesenti, the former vice president of AI at Meta, released Sizzle, a free learning app driven by AI that offers detailed solutions to word problems and math equations.

The AI-powered app stands out for providing solutions as well as serving as a tutor chatbot, assisting students with the problem-solving process. It recently added several new capabilities, such as the capacity to grade assignments and generate new stages. 

Sizzle reportedly distinguishes itself by expanding its ability to include word problems in physics, chemistry, and biology, much like arithmetic-solving programs like Photomath and Symbolab. The app also serves a range of academic levels from middle and high school to advanced placement (AP) and college.

Google also recently released a new Chrome extension called "Help Me Write," which is intended to assist users in coming up with writing ideas when they draft or edit text in online open fields. This is especially useful for short-form content such as reviews or surveys.

Google’s "Help Me Write" is reportedly a creative writing tool that uses generative AI to make writing on the web easier and more productive. It is described as experimental.

Google’s AI-Powered Optimism
Google’s ongoing use of AI is consistent with recent remarks made by the tech giant, which purportedly expressed optimism about the integration of its state-of-the-art AI models into smartphones within the next year.

The tech giant anticipates that starting in the upcoming year, gadgets will begin to integrate its Gemini large language model (LLM), which was created to compete with Microsoft-backed OpenAI’s potent GPT-4 AI model.

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