Edwin: Your AI-powered personal English tutor

Today Edwin.ai is excited to release our alpha of Edwin, a Messenger bot for English vocabulary learning.

This bot is the first step in building a cost-effective service for learning English as a foreign language (EFL). Edwin will eventually become a comprehensive EFL service delivered by both bots and humans that gets students to proficiency in one-third the time and for one-third the cost of existing solutions.

We’re building Edwin for one simple reason: Students and their families spend over $40 billion a year on EFL education, yet the majority of students who receive English instruction never reach proficiency.

In most countries, public school courses in English are insufficient. Families often supplement them with private language schools that use antiquated methodologies, such as group rote learning, and don’t personalize instruction. Students of these cram schools are surrounded by peers at the same minimal fluency level, a suboptimal setup for language learning. The alternative is incredibly expensive private tutoring.

Existing online solutions are not much more sophisticated, often retaining rote-learning methods and rigid learning plans rather than using technology to adapt to each student’s needs. The most popular digital English-learning services, typically lightweight and affordable tools, target casual learners rather than students preparing for vital university entrance or certification exams. Robust online programs that include instruction by teachers are more effective but can cost thousands of dollars per year.

Our mission at Edwin.ai is to help over 800 million EFL students learn English to improve their economic prospects and broaden their horizons.

From our experience with early education technology products, we know that bringing gadgets into the classroom and digitizing textbooks is not enough. We need to move from factory-model classrooms and methodologies to more effective personalized education made possible by innovative technology.

Edwin will rely on AI-powered bots to do the bulk of English teaching and language practice, freeing teachers to use their time for more valuable tasks. Eventually it will become a comprehensive EFL service that gets students to proficiency in one-third the time and for one-third the cost of cram schools.

Edwin.ai was founded by a team that’s passionate about education. With folks from Evernote and Lingualeo — the largest EFL learning service in Eastern Europe, with over 15 million students — we’re using natural language processing, machine learning, the newest speech technologies, and industry experience from the first wave of ed-tech products to bring personalized pedagogy and adaptive learning plans to students. We’re backed by General Catalyst and Maxfield Capital.

For now, Edwin is a Messenger bot that works with you to master English vocabulary words. Vocabulary is just the beginning, but we’d love to hear what you think of this alpha. Stay tuned!

Start using Edwin