Google today launched Read Along, an Android app that taps AI and machine learning to help children learn to read by providing verbal and visual feedback. After first debuting in India, it’s now available in over 180 countries and in nine languages including English, Spanish, Portuguese, Hindi, Marathi, Bengali, Tamil, Telugu, and Urdu.
Preliminary research suggests that apps like Read Along could significantly improve children’s reading skills. A three-month pilot of Read Along’s predecessor — Bolo — in the Unnao district of India involving 1,500 children across 200 villages found that, compared with a control group, 39% of the app’s users reached the highest level of the Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) reading assessment test and 64% saw an increase in scores. Moreover, 92% of parents said they noticed some improvement in their child’s skills.