Duolingo in 15 years
I've seen some posts about future of Duolingo, but clearly we've missed something. This information of great value is crucial for our understanding of what's going to happen. Luis confessed to it in one of his AMAs on reddit:
Spooky. So are they all evil? Well, I'm sorry, but it's hard for me to imagine a benevolent organization taking over the world. So yeah. Keeping that in mind, let's dive into my vision of how Duolingo looks in 2030...
First, Duolingo got big. Obviously. It grew faster each year and an estimated 65% people on Earth have used it at some point. Also, it expanded beyond language learning, got into science, news, literature, medicine, social media and even more. Because that's how you conquer the world, baby.
Luis is listed as one of the most influential people on the planet. Also one of the richest. He's like a celebrity and a guru. People wear t-shirts with his face on them.<h1>Duolingo</h1>
They do the language learning things. It is the official language learning platform in many countries, which use it in schools. University level education for teachers includes Duolingo training.
Language courses provide education for even the highest levels of advancement. There are 200 languages available, and much more courses, for different combinations between said languages. The number is growing. Courses are free, no ads, etc. Course contributors are full time workers (weee).
It's not just online, printed textbooks have been published, flashcards, offline software, games for children etc. There are also Duolingo schools teaching languages the conventional way, with students and teachers, table and chairs, and everything.
Yearly Duolingo publishes its ranking of 100 best learners (most progress in language learning with Duolingo) and rewards them.
Thanks to all that, the average number of languages spoken worldwide has just passed a whopping 2.5.<h1>DuoLit</h1>
For translating for works of literature. The process probably will last forever, but 1,5 million books has been translated into 250 languages so far. This is one of the busiest sections of Duolingo. Obviously, publishers pay for the translations.<h1>Duo World</h1>
They do the news. Thousands of journalists around the world providing the best stories and they are translated by eager language learners into numerous languages upon release. It's because Immersion finally got improved and truly the best translations arise from them all.
Translators and journalists are paid. Duolingo can afford it. It's not much, but certainly does create some sort of attachment. It's also all biased and puts Duolingo in good light. Propaganda first. That's how you start building your army.<h1>Duo Research</h1>
Mostly focusing on education, but they also do other interesting stuff. They work on creating the most effective learning techniques. The ultimate goal is to prevent mental dementia by making people exercise their minds daily.
However, there are also secret labs working on a virus to change all the humanity to zombies. World domination, right?<h1>DuoMed</h1>
Why would they even expand into medicine? Probably for minions to inject the virus. There are Duo clinics in 30 countries, and the number is rising. Medical personnel is strictly multilingual, and so the hospitals are popular mostly among rich foreigners and tourists. This section of Duolingo is highly profitable.<h1>Triolingo</h1>
Another secret area. It's like upgraded Duolingo. It's a special offer for learning a language really fast. You sign a contract, pay immense amounts of money and get a promise that you will be "fluent in 3 months". Then, lots of people follow you around and arrange your environments so that the language learning process can be optimized. They personally guide you and train you. It's like another country arriving your home and workplace. But do they just take care of your education...?
The program is cherished by politicians and business leaders. This is how Duolingo starts making connections in governments and big companies. Lobbying becomes easier and Duolingo gets richer.
Obviously, there is no official data for this section, but some sources say there is an estimated of 500 participants, some of them being really powerful. Rumor has it that the leader of one of the biggest countries is in the program.<h1>DuoMarket</h1>
There are book stores, selling... books (in many languages) and language courses in various forms (printed, software, flashcards, podcasts, etc). Also: grocery stores, convenience shops, shopping malls, supermarkets, all under the sign of DuoMarket.
Actually a few days ago I head a dream where I worked in Duo grocery store. It was a disturbing experience, because I was kind of a slave there and they wouldn't let me go. I wanted to go work somewhere else, but it was not an option for them. My manager was a horrible woman who was stalking all of the workers during work time. I finally managed to escape the town but then the riots began... But that's another story.<h1>DuoTV</h1>
Also available on the Internet, multiple channels for learning languages any way you want it. Subtitles in your native or target language are provided. Do I need to mention the subliminal stimuli transmitted as well to make people watching it more loyal to Duolingo?<h1>Polish for English speakers course</h1>
Finally, what we all have been waiting for. January 25, 2030 – Polish for English speakers course goes to Beta phase. Euphoria reaches its zenith. There are celebrations all over the globe, people go out on the streets and cry, laugh and dance. Sons reconcile with their fathers and hostile countries sign peace treaties and declarations of loyalty to each other. The President of the US gives a speech on TV and with tears of joys confesses he's been waiting for the course. The contributors are given medals and even handshakes by Luis himself. This day gets established by law a worldwide public holiday and a non-working day.
Thank you for reading this weird post! (why would anyone create something like that, dunno)
Edit: Thanks everyone for your great response!
In the next episode...
Year 2045. Duolingo makes an attempt at taking over the world. United Nations responds by mobilizing its armed forces. But there is something else Duolingo has kept in secret for a long time. Something that could change the course of history...
Disclaimer: All characters appearing in this work are not fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is absolutely intentional. However, the events are completely made up. Also, Polish course will not be released in 2030. It will be 2029 actually.
Disclaimer 2: Sorry for all this. I just had this idea for so long.
Disclaimer 3: If my account gets deleted tonight, it means I was right. Save yourselves while you can!
Why use Dr. Evil all the time? lolz, I know at least 2 people with that profile pic.
My mom goes through the same thing all the time. Her middle initial is Y. So on the phone when they ask her whats her middle initial she says Y. And they say becuase we need it. And she says Y. and 10 minutes later they finally understand.
- Duolingo branches out of languages and into general education. Kids can get the equivalent of a high school education on duo by the time they're 10 years old. Then they do their undergrad degrees by age 12, and get the equivalent of five or six PhDs by the time they turn 18.
- Science advances by leaps and bounds as individual people master multiple fields of knowledge at once, and the juxtapositon of ideas from all the different fields stimulates whole new areas of thought and generates higher levels of understanding in every existing field.
- The aggregate field of Averting Human Extinction, made up of a dozen of our current areas of study, becomes widely studied and funded, and people figure out how to manage resources, the environment, population, public health, infrastucture, climate, economics, energy, space science, and so on to secure a longterm future for the human species and our descendants.
- The explosion of more educated people means bigotry and jingoism fade away and equality and justice are allowed to flourish in societies across the globe. The brilliance and innovations from all the people who now have few opportunities, then will be able to benefit all of us and will kickstart humanity into a golden age.
- Almost everyone comes to understand how our species survives and thrives, so governments begin to have smarter people and they make wiser decisions about the environment, technology, education, energy, communications and infrastructure. Free wifi is everywhere and all the children in the world are given access to computers and unlimited free education on duolingo.
- The increase in the amount people in different parts of the world who are able to talk to one another stimulates more trade in ideas and in goods, and makes war obsolete. If anyone tries to attack anyone else, the loud cries of "no not my friends!" shut that impulse down.
- Terrorist organizations die of lack of recruitment since everyone is too smart to fall for their fear-mongering and hate-mongering bigotry now. Everyone has better and more fun things to do learning all the stuff they always wanted to know on duolingo and making friends from all over the world.
- Poverty becomes obsolete as the new super-educated duo generation is able to generate more economic activity and better systems of infrastructure. New technology advances humanity to a higher level of flourishing.
- The solar system is colonized and Mars and Venus are terraformed. Duolingo helps teach kids and adults throughout the solar system what they need to know to survive and thrive in various environments.
- Genetic engineering fueled by the explosion of biological knowledge from Duolingo, lets us design and grow our own bodies and port ourselves over to them.
- Duolingo trained physicists invent a star-drive that lets us explore the galaxy and make contact with the ancient, wise, and generous galactic civilization.
All hail duolingo!
Thank you, thank you! I'll let someone else (like Luis) be the front man or woman and I can be the idea person behind the scenes. I'm available for the right campaign! Elizabeth Warren, are you listening? =D
in 2045 they will use the DUO-bomb which stuns the enemy using complicated phrases from the "Idioms" skill...
2060 - Planet Earth = Planet Duo
Vow. 4678 - Planet Duo finds remains of a mysterious old world. Sources say the people were not interested in learning languages in the historic times. Citizens react to this very violently. They are angry that how could people not be interested in languages.
This is literally how 90% of all dystopian works of literature/movies happen. One corporation gets too big and too controlling. I hope DL just sticks with languages and doesn't become the only form of language learning. EDIT: I somehow missed the Polish paragraph and that was hilarious.
Personally, having founded the Esperanto Wikipedia and now leading the Esperanto team on Duolingo, I'm seeing many, many parallels, so I think that gives me a unique perspective to predict the future of Duolingo. Remember that Wikipedia was founded in January 2001 (Esperanto WP in November 2001), so about 15 years ago!
So, I think 15 years from now, Duolingo will be a household word just like Wikipedia. Duolingo will have translated the entire English web into the most common 25 languages, although there will be complaints because the translations are not always up to date for less common websites in less common languages. It will be integrated into smart contact lenses, ebooks, games, realtime video chat interpretation (for an additional fee).
We'll also see the first meeting of Duolingo Incubator volunteers in 2015. It will most likely happen in Berlin. ;)
In any case, I don't see Duolingo straying from languages. It's already such a massive task, although it will inspire other companies to make similar free education projects for other fields.
Also, I'm guessing that we'll see the Esperanto for English speakers beta course go live in April 2015 and Polish for English speakers course in 2017. :)
PLEASE tell me the Polish release date is a joke. 14 years of waiting seems…excessive.
Haha, this is brilliant! Great job, endios! :D
Now get back to the Incubator.
Haha I laughed a lot, especially about the release of polish course in 2030. Well, I still hope it's going to be a lot sooner!
Luis is gonna invoke an army of supernatural green owls to find you and take you to the secret submarine DuoDetentionCenter. You gotta escape now! D:
Edit: best post ever!
Don't forget - DUOBOTS! Supposedly helpful little owl robots created by Duolingo to help one practice their target languages. However, I can't help but get the sense that those eyes aren't just for helping people.
It would be great to read some of those. Double points for Polish? Worth considering. But to be honest I find it hilarious that Polish is becoming some sort of inside joke here on Duo. ;)
Soup, that was funny and so true! The french voice is really hard to decipher at times. The Italian, German and Spanish voices are all fine (for me at least) with no problems and good enunciation, but man, what is up with the French voice? It almost sounds like she had a few too many vodkas before the lesson or something... :D
NOT complaining though! I love DuoLingo and it is free, so I do not want to look a free and wonderful gift horse in the mouth. ;)
Excited to see the secret weapon they use against the United Nations. Could it be a course on the language of reality itself?
2042: Duo Thought completes work on the most legendary, most complicated, most shocking course ever...
I may be exaggerating, but this has to be one of the most amazing posts that has been put on this site. I think I lost it at the part about the Polish course, great work! XD
Duolingo was released just c. 3 years ago. Already, 60 million members. Since trends increase exponentially (much like a virus), I can imagine the number reaching well into the hundreds of millions or even past the billion mark by 15 years. The spreading into different industries, such as schools, will only serve to spread Duolingo's influence further. Hopefully, as Internet spreads to the farthest reaches of the globe, more people will be able to use Duolingo. Imagine what a world that will be: one where we will have effectively taken down the communication barrier. One where more people are open to diversity and open mindedness rather than ethnocentrism and ignorance. I hope that this app is still around fifteen years, because my kids are definitely using it!
Good one, Ericaaa! That fits too, because at the end of a difficult German lesson today, t Duo Owl cried and I was told, "You shall not pass!!"
This was a brilliantly executed piece of satire. It should be published. It really shows you how satire, as a genre, can get closer to the truth than any other.
The best part is how he maintains a serious, reasonable tone in the first paragraphs, then starts messing with the reality level of the piece. I was well into the post before I even realized he was putting me on.
I think the UN might support Duolingo taking over. Owls are very wise. In all seriousness, I totally can see the literary translation for most works, the newsfeeds, medical services, all. Those are fields where duolingo could step in and really thrive.
Will us early adaptors will be able to receive special benefits once this happens?
It depends. If you embrace what Duolingo really is today, you may become some local representative and maybe even partake in leading the riots in your part of the planet. Whistleblowers like me are going down on the other hand.
As I read this I kept forgetting that it is fictional. It was very well written!
Finally, what we all have been waiting for. January 25, 2030 – Polish for English speakers course goes to Beta phase. Cracks up.
You sign a contract, pay immense amounts of money and get a promise that you will be "fluent in 3 months". [Thinks about Benny Lewis]
I've just realized, that the main point for creating the whole post was probably looking at polish course's estimated release date. I was usually getting upset when seeing it, now it's turned to a great joke. Feels so better now!
WOOOOOOW! Such a GREAT article! And you put so much effort into it, with the pics and everything! SO entertaining! And, man, does your imagination run wild! :P
I think Google is more likely to take over the world.
Right now there is Google, Google Maps, Google Chrome, Gmail, Google+, and even Google Glasses.
Soon there will be Google++, G-uolingo, Google Maths (more like Googol maths!), Google Cars, Google Airlines, Google Hospital, Google University, Google Computers, Google Phones etc.
This is simply awesome, I love it! Lingots all around for you, friend. Well done!
This is honestly the best post I've ever read on Duolingo :D Thanks for sharing:)
I started cracking up when I read the Polish part, then I saw "Disclaimer 3" and I totally lost it. This is officially the best post ever. But now I'm awaiting the second episode, I need to find out what secret is Duo hiding. ;)
Polish paragraph was hiralious !!!
I understand buddy, many have that sort of feeelings fro Polish course. Your satire made me laugh a lot that is best post i have seen in last few days. I must say that you waited quite long i.e. to post it in year 2015 so that it concides will be 2030 after 15 year. ( Or was this coincidence intentional?).
I guess I waited long. I had this idea like a year ago, and I started writing it at the brink of 2015, since it was the perfect time. Glad I gave it time tho, most of the parts were added later.
I'm still waiting for this, to be honest...
Duo must defeat the evil forces of Rosetta Stone who are trying to make people pay for language education.
Maybe DuoTV could air it.
I know it's supposed to look like bombs but it actually looks like a closeup of pizza. Which is a much better way of taking over the world, in my opinion.
Since this movie has the greatest poster ever, I'm sure DuoTV will air it. Daily.
Also, instead of using Duo on your computer or phone, everyone will start the day with mandatory grammar exercises from their telescreen.
Great piece of writing -well done. but of course, by 2030 we'll all be wearing our Googleclothes that will include automatic, in-ear instant translation of any language into any other and poor old Luis will be as unemployed as the rest of us! :)