Title: Duolingo and the Meaning of Translation
Duolingo is a language learning app created by Luis Von Ahn. Users learn new languages by translating documents that companies, like CNN, need to be translated. Smart.
So, how did Von Ahn come up with the idea for this ingenious program? It started a ways back. He's always been fascinated by taking the things people do anyway, and translating them into something positive for society. As a 13 year old, he wanted to create a gym where all the exercise machines would be connected to the electrical grid, generating power as people worked out.
While the conversion of kinetic energy to electrical energy didn't turn out to be a viable business model, this same interest led to the development of Captchas - those distorted characters you have to type into a website to verify you are a human. Well, did you know the act of typing out these words is used to help the process of digitizing books?
Duolingo works using this same concept. Watch the video to learn more about it.