The days when students have to flip through textbooks to find solutions to homework problems may soon be coming to an end. Rather, they’ll be taking pictures with their smartphones to feed problems into an artificially intelligent app if Socratic has its way.
Students across the world will be thrilled to hear that they can now outsource their homework to an app.
Socratic is an education-focused startup, and what it offers is quite similar to Quora – a space where students can ask questions and receive answers from their peers or just about anyone. Of course, these questions are particular to specific subjects such as Science, Math, Social Sciences, and the Humanities. The company has had an app called Homework Genius in stealth mode for about a year, and it’s finally ready for the student masses.
The team behind Socratic says the app’s steps closely match those a teacher would take their students through, and has promised to expand its capabilities across the sciences, history, economics and the humanities
Now renamed after the company, Socratic is an iOS-only app that claims to help you with your homework thanks to the help of artificial intelligence. Simply snap a picture of your word problem, give the app a few seconds to analyze it, and you’ll then be reading all about the proper way to solve it. Socratic, which is available for free on the App Store, is designed to tackle a range of subject matter, but has just been updated with enhanced mathematical capabilities.
The app doesn’t exactly offer answers, instead, you get an explainer that dives into the concept, problem, and teaches students how to solve it. The beta app involved teachers, students, and more than 150,000 users — and Socratic used it to collect “millions of photos of real homework questions” to make the AI engine more powerful.
The app is well-designed and slick, and results are presented in the form of vertical cards. The first is the explainer, and the rest will be anything else the AI can scrounge up about the problem — videos, definitions, and web results. Much of the “explainer” content has been developed by the Socratic community, but right now the results only pertain to chemistry.
“Students can now break down their question into small steps, allowing them to gain confidence and learn how to solve similar questions on their own, said Shreyans Bhansali, Socratic’s co-founder and head of engineering. “We hope to provide an experience similar to working with a tutor, except it’s free and on your phone.
“We believe our code has applications outside the Socratic app and we’re excited to release the core step-by-step solution code as open source so others can extend it and use it as they see fit.”
Android phone users look away because it’s currently only available to iPhone users.
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