Google I/O: The machines are learning

Google I/O: The machines are learning

I always look forward to Google’s I/O conference to see where the future of technology and innovation is headed and today, once again, didn’t disappoint. This was the 10th I/O conference for Google. This is where Google shares what it’s working on so developers know where the platform is headed… and what they see as the future of technology. The theme of this year’s conference could not have been more clear. Artificial Intelligence (AI) was definitely the theme of this year’s conference. Whether it was their new device Google Home, their new apps Allo and Duo or their new Virtual Reality (VR) device, the future belongs to AI and machine learning. Machine Learning, or where machines teach themselves, to me, has the greatest impact on education. The idea that a student could soon be sitting at home and simply ask their Google Home device “How do I solve this problem?” and instead of the device giving the answer, it talks the student through how to solve the problem. It will ask the student questions, respond to those questions and actually teach the student. Now….yes….this is what parents do (and should do) and I’m not saying I want students talking to computers all the time. But it does open up some interesting possibilities for the future. As usual, it’s the stats that get me really thinking about how we in education will continue to evolve. 300 million people were online when Google was founded. 3 Billion people are connected via mobile today. Think about these numbers. When you think that roughly half the world’s population is connected via a mobile device, you can’t help but think what that means for education on a global scale. Or, what that means for your students and their ability to connect with people from…well….anywhere. What are we doing in schools and classrooms to better understand that we need to be on mobile devices? Really grasping that these devices are where people spend the majority of their time. Over 20% of Google search queries in the US are done by voice. Over 50% of all search queries are done on mobile devices (both stats from this year’s keynote). Take one second and ask yourself, how does this change your classroom? Now, figure this layer: Google states that they translate over 100 languages and over a billion words a day. Many world language teachers are still frustrated with this technology. Is it...

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