Duolingo has begun to cut contractors as it leverages generative artificial intelligence for content creation.
The language-learning giant has “offboarded” 10% of its contractors as the company doesn’t need more people doing the “type of work” that these individuals once did, a spokesperson for Duolingo told Bloomberg.
The company has over 500 million registered learners worldwide and over 24 million daily users.
Duolingo’s Chief Executive Officer Luis Von Ahn revealed the company’s use of generative artificial intelligence (genAI) back in November in a letter to shareholders.
GenAI can quickly and effectively create a range of content from text to images.
The company may use this technology to generate text for language learning and other supplementary material.
Duolingo leverages AI to “generate voices within the app” and provides “AI-generated feedback and conversations” with the Duolingo Max subscription, Bloomberg states.
The company isn’t phasing out its contractors entirely, as many full-time workers and contractors at Duolingo “use the technology in their work.”
Duolingo retained 600 full-time employees by the end of 2022. “No full-time employees were affected by the cutback,” Bloomberg said.
This, among other instances of automation, has businesses concerned about the effect of AI on jobs.
According to the World Economic Forum, we can anticipate over 80 million jobs to be lost globally to automation while only 69 million jobs will be generated.
Leading to “a net reduction of 14 million jobs at the present rate of change, even though this figure is subject to a high degree of uncertainty.”
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