Megan Bednarczyk & Edwin Bodge

Design Lead | Principal Product Manager

Duolingo Max

Megan Bednarczyk is a product designer, and avid marathon runner living in Brooklyn, New York. She led the design of Duolingo’s newest AI-powered subscription tier, Duolingo Max, from concept to launch—and continues to lead the Max team in transforming language education with generative AI. Before Duolingo, she was the second designer at Geneva, a group chat start-up. There, she built up the product design practice by driving feature design, co-leading a company rebrand, and building a design system. She’s also worked on projects with clients ranging from HBO Max and Audible to JP Morgan and Amex.

Edwin has been a Product Manager at Duolingo for 5 years, and is the product lead for Duolingo's newest subscription: Duolingo Max. He and the team partnered closely with OpenAI as an early launch partner for their newest and most powerful model, GPT-4. Edwin has always been interested in the intersection between education and technology, and has been at Duolingo to serve the mission of the product: to develop the best education in the world and make it universally available.

Designing with AI: Building the flagship GPT-4 language product

In late 2022, OpenAI approached Duolingo with early access to GPT-4. It only took a single demo for our CEO to exclaim: “pivot your team immediately—this is going to transform education.”

Fast forward to March 2023: Duolingo is launching a new subscription tier, Duolingo Max, as one of the few launch partners for OpenAI’s newest GPT-4 model. As the first language product to leverage GPT-4, Duolingo Max supercharges the way we teach language. Megan and Edwin want to tell their story of building Max, and how they designed in this next era of generative AI.

This talk will cover their experience building Duolingo Max with the newest AI technology, GPT-4. They’ll discuss their approach, mistakes, lessons learned, and give perspective on how generative AI can transform the way they design products and shape the future of education.


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