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Duolingo Reportedly Replaces Translators with AI

The company offboarded a "huge" number of workers.

Image credit: Duolingo

Is this the year you learn a language? Or is this the year big companies rely on AI? In Duolingo's case, it's the latter, as it seems to be moving toward a more technological future.

According to Reddit user No_Comb_4582, who used to work on the language-learning app, Duolingo offboarded "a huge percentage" of its contract translators in December because it decided AI could do the same work faster and cheaper. The former employee said only two of the four members of the team were "spared", and they now just review AI content "to make sure it’s acceptable."

Despite the commotion, Duolingo using AI is not a new practice, the company doesn't keep it a secret. "While we do use AI for many different purposes at Duolingo, including the generation of some course content, human experts are still very involved in the creation of Duolingo’s content," a representative of the company has told us.

As for the number of specialists that Duolingo reportedly ended professional relationships with, we have been informed that this move affected "a small minority of Duolingo’s contractors, the majority have been retained."

It looks like last year's layoff boom is continued in 2024 right from the start. Just before Christmas, Hasbro announced its decision to lay off 1,100 employees, and last week, its subsidiary Wizards of the Coast was caught using AI to generate visuals for a marketing campaign for Magic: The Gathering

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