Accelerating Learning: A CERN Interview with Lingvist CEO Mait Müntel

by Aubrie Amstutz | News | 12 November 2019

As a European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) alumnus, Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Lingvist Mait Müntel was inspired to approach learning a foreign language with the tools he was familiar with: algorithms, machine learning, and artificial intelligence. One fateful day, he found himself stranded at a train station in France due to his lack of French comprehension, despite having lived in Geneva for some time. This experience got him thinking that there must be a faster way to learn French.

With his perspective as a physicist and experience working with machine learning tools in particle physics at CERN, he approached the issue as an experiment in optimization. Keeping the axes of individual memory capacity and time spent learning in mind, Müntel developed a prototype of Lingvist. His system used artificial intelligence at its core to personalize this optimization, with incredible results.

His success with this approach and further research into memory and learning fueled his belief that learning could be accelerated to ten times its unaided efficiency, and not just for languages. Müntel believes that in the future the learning algorithms Lingvist has developed could be used for more than just foreign languages. Although Lingvist is currently focused on popular foreign languages like English, Spanish, French, and German, Müntel forsees a greater need to accelerate learning in all disciplines. With the growth of artificial intelligence and the automation of increasingly sophisticated tasks, efficiency in acquisition of knowledge is essential for individuals looking to be competitive in the marketplace of the future.

For now, Müntel and the Lingvist team are passionate about approaching the problem of language learning from a mathematical standpoint, accelerating Lingvist users’ acquisition of foreign languages, and enabling better job opportunities, relationships, and travel.

Check out the interview below to hear Müntel tell his story of missed trains, his inspiration for Lingvist, and his views on the future of learning!

What motivates you to learn a foreign language? In what other areas do you think learning could be accelerated? Let us know in the comments below!