Duolingo, an online portal for learning foreign languages, mathematics and music, laid off about 10% of its temporary workers. a reason? The site increasingly uses artificial intelligence.
According to CNN, although not all of the layoffs were technology-related, Duolingo did lay off some of its contract workers at the end of 2023 to make room for changes related to artificial intelligence and how content is created and shared. The company reported that no full-time employees were laid off.
Duolingo has 24.2 million daily active users, 5.8 million paid subscribers, and offers more than 100 courses.
Artificial intelligence to help
Last year, the company implemented tools that use artificial intelligence, creating a new subscription tier — Duolingo Max. It uses the GPT-4 language model, which allows users to talk to a chatbot to practice skills and receive explanations from the AI about why an answer is right or wrong.
“AI accelerates our work by helping us create new content much faster,” CEO Louis von Ahn wrote in a letter to shareholders in November.
Duolingo says AI will be increasingly used to perform tasks such as generating sentences for courses, creating lists of accepted translations, and reviewing user error reports to fix errors more quickly.
While the company is reducing its workforce to increasingly rely on artificial intelligence to create and review content, it still uses humans to review the work that AI produces.
“We are not replacing experts with artificial intelligence,” the company said in a statement sent to CNN. “AI is a tool we use to increase our productivity and efficiency, and to add new content and improve our courses faster, so we can continue teaching at a higher level,” she said.
Main image source: Maoyunping/Shutterstock
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