Duolingo Lays Off Workers After Ramping up Use of AI


Duolingo is laying off 10% of its contractors after implementing AI to carry out certain tasks.

In a statement shared with Bloomberg, a spokesperson for the educational-tech company said: “We just no longer need as many people to do the type of work some of these contractors were doing. Part of that could be attributed to AI.”

The representative added that the job cuts weren’t a “straight replacement” of workers with AI, and no full-time employees were affected by the reductions.

Representatives for Duolingo did not immediately respond to Business Insider’s request for comment, made outside normal working hours.

Duolingo’s CEO, Luis von Ahn, has been enthusiastic about AI’s potential. In an interview with The New Yorker, von Ahn said he believes the tech has the potential to make computers better teachers than humans.

AI-powered tools have been shown to boost workers’ productivity for certain tasks, opening up opportunities for company cost-saving.

However, some workers are concerned the tech could potentially replace them entirely. Some freelance writers, for example, say they are already losing out on work to ChatGPT-like tools.

Fears about generative AI ushering in large-scale job losses are increasing as more companies implement the technology into everyday business operations. Several companies, including the Swedish fintech Klarna, have frozen hiring because of AI-powered tools such as ChatGPT.

Last month, Klarna’s CEO, Sebastian Siemiatkowski, told The Telegraph that AI was “a threat to a lot of jobs” across the economy.

He said while he had no plans to lay off workers, natural attrition meant the company would shrink over time, and AI would pick up the slack from lost staffers.



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