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This article was published on June 17, 2021

Si! Das ist richtig! Google’s reportedly building a Duolingo competitor

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Si! Das ist richtig! Google’s reportedly building a Duolingo competitor
Ivan Mehta
Story by

Ivan Mehta

Ivan covers Big Tech, India, policy, AI, security, platforms, and apps for TNW. That's one heck of a mixed bag. He likes to say "Bleh." Ivan covers Big Tech, India, policy, AI, security, platforms, and apps for TNW. That's one heck of a mixed bag. He likes to say "Bleh."

Google’s pretty good at letting you search the web in multiple languages and using AI to translate between them. Now, the company wants to use this prowess to help you learn different languages.

According to a report from The Information, the company is preparing a new product called Tivoli that’ll be rolled out later this year. It’ll initially work on text, and will live in Google Search.

At the company’s developer conference Google IO in May, the company showed off a new conversational AI model called LaMDA.In the demo, LaMDA assumed the role of Pluto and had a conversation as the dwarf planet. Not exactly useful, but Google will move beyond silly videos and eventually use this ground-breaking AI to power its new language learning products.

The report noted that the company wants to integrate Tivoli in Google Assistant and YouTube through interactive quizzes in the future.

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Google is not alien to language learning. Last year, it launched the Read Along offline app — originally introduced as Bolo in India in 2019 — aimed to teach children English, Hindi, Spanish, and Portuguese.

However, the rumored Tivoli project looks to launch language learning at a wider and more integrated scale.

Whenever Google launches its efforts, it might a heavy competition from other industry leaders such as Babel, Duolingo, and Rosetta Stone. According to a report by Meticulous Research analytics firm, the online language learning market is set to reach $21.2 billion by 2027. And it wouldn’t surprise me if the search giant is gearing up to grab a big chunk of that booty.

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