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Duolingo, the language-learning app, dismisses 10% of its translator team in favor of AI

Language learning platform Duolingo has reportedly laid off 10% of its contract translators as part of a restructuring effort, citing the increased use of generative artificial intelligence (AI) in content creation. The move is seen as a strategic shift in the company’s operations, acknowledging the evolving role of AI in content curation. A spokesperson for Duolingo mentioned that the reduction in the number of contractors is a result of the changing nature of the work, with AI playing a contributing role.

According to Sam Dalsimer, Global Head of Communications at Duolingo, AI is not the sole reason for the reduction in the contract workforce, but it plays a significant part in various functions and tasks across the company. He emphasized the multi-faceted use of AI within Duolingo and clarified that both contract and staff employees continue to be crucial for validating and refining AI-generated content, particularly for accuracy in sentence generation and translations.




Duolingo Adapts to the Future: 10% Translator Workforce Cut as AI Takes the  Lead - PUNE.NEWS
Duolingo Adapts to the Future: 10% Translator Workforce Cut as AI Takes the Lead

While acknowledging the impact of AI on workforce dynamics, Dalsimer stated that AI is meant to streamline processes and empower translators to focus on more complex tasks, rather than completely replacing human jobs. Additionally, Duolingo is actively working to find alternative roles for the affected contractors.

As part of its commitment to enhancing technological capabilities, Duolingo announced plans to fill two new AI positions. One role is dedicated to personalizing the app experience, while the other aims to refine speech-related functionalities. These initiatives underscore Duolingo’s dedication to leveraging AI for positive contributions to its language learning platform.

Amid the restructuring, Duolingo shared notable achievements from 2023, including over 23 billion lessons completed on the platform and 8.4 million active learners studying Hindi. The Language Report 2023 from Duolingo highlighted a cumulative learning duration of nearly one and a half billion hours on the platform, with over 32 million individuals worldwide engaging in the study of multiple languages throughout the year.

In conclusion, Duolingo’s move to reduce its contract translator workforce aligns with the company’s evolving approach to leverage AI for content creation. While acknowledging the role of AI, Duolingo emphasizes the continued importance of human involvement in refining and validating AI-generated content. The company’s commitment to technological advancements, as evident from the creation of new AI-focused positions, underscores its dedication to enhancing the language learning experience for users worldwide.

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