Hackers; Developers; Designers; Data Scientist; Digital Marketers; Gamification Artists and Changemakers!

Join us to create the future of natural language understanding in the field of machine accent recognition and win a chance to realise your creative idea with Goethe-Institut and N3XTCODER.

About the Hackathon

Imagine if Siri and Alexa could help you improve your German speaking language skills – accent and vocabulary!

We teamed up with the Goethe-Institut to innovate their current language learning process and we are looking for you to join our team.

The Goethe-Institut has a large base of language students all over the world. Students who want to learn the German language, are looking for individual feedback and coaching to train pronunciation, accent and vocabulary.

Unfortunately current artificial language processing does not perform well for German language learners. Siri, Echo, Google Home, Watson, Cortana – there’s nothing out there that will correct your German.

The mission for the Hackathon:

  • Draw on a worldwide network of german learners to create the largest database of accents for machine learning available
  • Gamify the creation of the largest training set for accent recognition available to machine learning
  • Develop with us a new AI to help non-German speakers to learn german
  • Build the new generation of Virtual Assistants for language learning

During the Hackathon we will develop strategies and creative ideas to acquire the data needed to train the AI of the future personal language tutor.

A good outcome on the day would be feasible way accent data can start to be collected or sourced. This includes but is not limited to:

  • Landing pages where german-learners can immediately contribute data via audio/video or some other
  • Wireframes for an app where learners record their accent
  • Onsite interactions with language learners

Don’t forget: your proposal can assume access to a worldwide network of students learning German with the Goethe-Institut, as well as wider networks of alumni and other affiliations. General marketing channels are also available with the weight of the Goethe -Institut brand behind any campaign.

You can apply to join the hackathon, either as a Volunteer Participant who wants to support a team with an existing idea, or as a Project Owner with an idea to work on. Either way you become part of a team who has a chance to explore machine learning further.

Here are some examples for how a concept might look for someone applying with an idea:

Example 1:

Emily wants to win the project with the Goethe-Institut by collecting a dataset of film titles, her concept is to have german language learners take part in a quiz with the prize being a trip to visit Berlin. The quiz requires them to respond verbally to questions, where the answer is a famous film title in German. E.g. “Vom Winde verweht”, “Die unglaubliche Reise in einem verrückten Flugzeug”

Example 2:

James thinks political discussion is important. His concept is to have German language learners team up with a partner and have a debate in German about Donald Trump, quoting der Spiegel. E.g. “Trump droht erneut mit nationalem Notstand”

Example 3:

Maxi wants to improve Siri’s technical understanding. Their proposal is to have German language learners specify a tip for their latest technical gadget in German. The entrant with the best tip will receive 500 EUR towards their chosen gadget. E.g. “Wer bei Garageband mit einem iPhone einen eigenen Sound erstellt hat, kann diesen ebenfalls als Klingelton benutzen.”

The possibilities do not end after the Hackathon – we are making plans for an extended pilot phase through incubation with N3XTCODER, the Goethe-Institute, and other partners. This Hackathon could be the first step towards a new venture in the area of Machine Learning and German Language Education

About the Goethe-Institut

The Goethe-Institut is the cultural institute of the Federal Republic of Germany with a global reach.

They promote knowledge of the German language abroad and foster international cultural cooperation. They convey a comprehensive image of Germany by providing information about cultural, social and political life in our nation. Their cultural and educational programmes encourage intercultural dialogue and enable cultural involvement. They strengthen the development of structures in civil society and foster worldwide mobility. With our network of Goethe-Instituts, Goethe Centres, cultural societies, reading rooms and exam and language learning centres, we have been the first point of contact for many with Germany for over sixty years. Our long-lasting partnerships with leading institutions and individuals in over ninety countries create enduring trust in Germany. We are partners for all who actively engage with Germany and its culture, working independently and without political ties.

diagram of the hackathon and incubation process


We at N3XTCODER strongly support the Global Goals and aim for all our projects and partners to contribute to one or more of the United Nations 17 Global Goals that have been launched in 2015. A 17-point plan to end poverty, halt climate change and fight injustice and inequality, the Global Goals are the biggest attempt in the history of the human race to make the world a better place. A plan that 193 governments have agreed, a plan that the world wants and needs. A plan backed by leading business and organisations. A to-do-list for the planet that will only be achieved if everyone plays their part.

N3XTCODER aims to identify and work with the best technology solutions and digital products that have the potential to tackle the most pressing problems that persist today.

Read more about the Global Goals at www.globalgoals.org

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