For me, getting help in school was always… a hassle.

I’ll be honest: I was never a “natural” when it came to most subjects, so yeah – I’d be the guy you would find hanging out at office hours after class. Strike that, one of the dozens of students crowding the teacher’s office after class. Seriously – you would think professors are celebrities given the number of students clamoring for their attention, especially in college.

The questions you’d overhear would range far and wide – one student might have a question about a single homework problem, another might need an entire term’s worth of material explained to them. Everybody learns differently. Unfortunately, teachers are expected to meet with every student. Not only does this stretch our educators super thin, but it leaves students with the feeling that they might not have been given all the attention they need.

Out of my own selfishness, I’ve spent a good chunk of my life thinking about this problem and how to solve it, especially in regards to foreign languages. Languages are deeply nuanced and Google might not always be able to answer your questions. Having access to knowledgable teacher or tutor is absolutely crucial. However, private tutors can be expensive and teachers, well… they have a lot to do.

✋🏻 Accessible Answers

During college, a lightbulb moment happened for me.

I was taking an intermediate Chinese class when I happened upon a free chatbot on WeChat. You would ask it any question you had about the Chinese language and it would route the question to a real Chinese person providing a real answer in a matter of minutes.

My mind was blown.

Instead of emailing my teacher and waiting for a reply, or hitting up the Chinese guy I sort-of knew from down the hall, if I was stuck at all doing homework I just had to pick up my phone, open WeChat, and ask.

I immediately began thinking of ways a service like this could be scaled to every language in existence. The idea that anyone could ask any question about a language, no matter how specific, and get a near-instant reply excited me beyond belief. Of course, you’d need someone on the other side answering those questions, and then there was the matter of incentive – what was in it for the answer-er? It quickly became a massive logistics problem.

The free WeChat service was funded by the government, which meant the people answering were government employees operating under a non-profit model. To scale this idea, you’d either need a lot of volunteers, or a lot of money. The idea was quickly shelved.

(you can probably guess where this is going)

Until now.

🧞‍♂️ Open Sesame!

Technology has come along way since I had my nose stuck in my college Chinese textbook. In fact, artificial intelligence seems to have made more advancements in the past year alone than in the past ten.

With the emergence of text-to-text transformers and large-language models such as GPT3, we are witnessing a new dawn of innovation, the likes of which have not been seen since the rise of the smartphone in 2007. Generative AI has the potential to completely revolutionize meta-learning and how we educate ourselves.

The idea of a “tutor-at-your-fingertips” is no longer a logistics problem, so today we are introducing it to all of you.

Victoria and I are super excited to announce Language Genie, an AI-powered chatbot that lives inside the Linguistic platform that will instantly answer any question you have about your target language. On every page you’ll have access to your “genie lamp”.

Clicking it will open a direct chat with your genie, where you can ask it anything!

On chat pages, you won’t see the lamp but will rather see a new card in your sidebar that allows you to open a full-screen chat with your genie. While you won’t see the persistent genie lamp across pages on mobile, you can always access your genie lamp from your Chat page. You can also visit your genie directly by going to /genie.

Genie card

While our platform is still in beta, we’re allowing everyone to ask ten free questions a day. This limitation, as well as our pricing around the Language Genie, is subject to change in the future. In the coming months, we’ll be building out new Genie features, such as follow-up questions and suggestions based on the words you’re currently studying.

We look forward to Language Genie amplifying the Linguistic platform, empowering everyone to have access to all the answers they need, when they need them. Learning a language isn’t easy, so getting the help you need should be least of your worries. This is a tool I’ve spent half my life wanting, so for us to have the privilege of rolling it out is honestly amazing.

We hope your genie becomes the copilot you need on your language learning journey. From one language learner to another, you got this. 🧡🚀