AI in Action E239: Erin Gustafson, Lead Data Scientist at Duolingo


Welcome to episode 239 of the AI in Action podcast, the show where we break down the hype and explore the impact that Data Science, Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence are making on our everyday lives.

Powered by Alldus International, our goal is to share with you the insights of technologists and data science enthusiasts to showcase the excellent work that is being done within AI in the United States and Europe.

Today's guest is Erin Gustafson, Lead Data Scientist at Duolingo in Pittsburgh, PA. Founded in 2011, Duolingo is the world’s most popular way to learn a language. Their mission is to develop the best education in the world and make it universally available. Today, Duolingo have become the most downloaded education app in the history of the App Store and in 2019, it became the top-grossing education app worldwide.

Learning a new language is hard, but Duolingo believes it can be fun. They use bite-sized lessons that feel like playing a game to keep our learners motivated. With over 500 million learners, they have unprecedented data insights on how people learn. Their teams of language learning scientists, machine learning engineers and AI experts use this data to constantly improve their effectiveness. Duolingo are building a future in which the highest-quality education is accessible to all.

In today's episode, Erin will discuss:

The role of Data Science in Duolingo’s language learning platform

Interesting projects & her day-to-day role

Top advice when transitioning from academia into industry

How they are applying AI & Data to improve the user experience

The future of EdTech

Her top tips for landing that data science role

To find out more about Erin and all the interesting work happening at Duolingo, check out the website or follow them on Linkedin and Twitter @duolingo. You can also connect with Erin on Linkedin.

What did you think of Erin's podcast? Where do you see the future of AI and Data Science in the Education industry heading in the next few years? We would love to hear your thoughts on this episode, so please leave a comment below.

If you would like to hear more from AI in Action then please subscribe and don’t forget to like and share with your friends on social media.

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  • Michael Schema Avatar

    Michael Schema

    Thank you for this great podcast. I learned a few things in this episode. To do a 'minimum viable analysis' and don't let perfect be the enemy of good is a very good recommendation I struggle a lot to set into practice.
    I think it is important to practice in other fields to transfer research skills to another domain, too. There is so much to learn from each other. That's why I set SQL on my to-do-learn-list. I also will focus more on articles written by people at the top tier tech companies.
    It's great to hear, that AI could be the great equalizer for language learning for what a tutor is needed, yet. That is something to look for in the future.

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