Duolingo: Translating the Web with Millions of People

author: Luis von Ahn, School of Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University
published: Aug. 24, 2012,   recorded: July 2012,   views: 5571


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I want to translate the web into every major language: every web page, every video, and, yes, even Justin Bieber's tweets. With its content split up into hundreds of languages — and with over 50 percent of it in English — most of the web is inaccessible to most people in the world. This problem is pressing, now more than ever, with millions of people from China, Russia, Latin America and other quickly developing regions entering the web. In this talk, I introduce my new project, called Duolingo, which aims at breaking the language barrier, and thus making the web truly world wide.

We have all seen how systems such as Google Translate are improving every day at translating the gist of things written in other languages. Unfortunately, they are not yet accurate enough for my purpose: Even when what they spit out is intelligible, it's so badly written that I can't read more than a few lines before getting a headache. This is why you don't see machine-translated books. With Duolingo, our goal is to encourage people, like you and me, to translate the web into their native languages.

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Download slides icon Download slides: aaai2012_von_ahn_duolingo_01.pdf (3.0 MB)

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