On Wednesday, Duolingo joined the bandwagon of companies leveraging generative AI technology with the introduction of Duolingo Max, a pricier subscription tier that offers access to two GPT-4 features. One of these features, called “Explain My Answer,” enables users to request Duo, the chatbot named after the language-learning platform’s owl mascot, to provide a detailed explanation of why their answer to a question was correct or incorrect. Additionally, users have the option to seek further clarification if necessary.
The other feature, called “Roleplay,” enables users to apply their language skills acquired through Duolingo by participating in a series of scenarios. For instance, in one session, users may be asked to order food and beverages at a Parisian café.
Duolingo asserts that each conversation will be unique, even if users rehearse the same situation repeatedly, and users can accumulate experience points by successfully completing the practice sessions.
“Most people don’t have access to a one-on-one human tutor, but I believe AI will allow us to eventually recreate the experience of a human tutor and scale it to everyone in the world,” said Duolingo CEO Luis von Ahn. “I’m so excited to share these incredible new features with millions of Duolingo learners.”
Duolingo has been developing Duolingo Max since 2022, as part of a collaborative effort with OpenAI that provided the company with early access to its new GPT-4 model prior to this week’s announcement. Nevertheless, Duolingo acknowledges that GPT-4’s language abilities are far from flawless. “We have collaborated closely with OpenAI for several months to assess and train this technology, and will continue to do so until errors are minimized,” the company admits. In addition, users can flag an incorrect AI response by long-pressing on a message and evaluate an Explain My Answer session by using a thumbs-up or thumbs-down emoji upon completion.
English-speaking iOS users studying Spanish and French can access Duolingo Max. Sadly this is only available in the United States, for the rest of the world, there is no news about a release date yet.
Having conversations is a great way to pick up and learn a language especially if you are going to be using it for holidays. We will just have to wait for them to release it to the rest of the world and hopefully with more languages available