In 2005, then-Carnegie Mellon PhD grad student Luis von Ahn had an idea for a game. In one of the first examples of true crowdsourcing, he had people looking at images and labeling them to improve image search. Google acquired ESP Game in 2005 and renamed it Google Image Labeler.
In 2007, now-Professor von Ahn had another idea. He realized that all the time people wasted typing in CAPTCHAs could… → Read More
In September of last year, Google made a smart and obvious acquisition: reCAPTCHA, the service helps secure websites while at the same time helping computers learn to read old, scanned text. Google had reportedly been working on its own CAPTCHA solution, but found reCAPTCHA’s better, and were undoubtedly happy to welcome the talent behind it. Today, just seven months later, one of those key team… → Read More
Captchas are well known for keeping automated spammers out and letting humans in. However, ReCaptcha is a rather clever service using them to help digitize books scanned into the Internet Archive as well. It’s a project from the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon. The Internet Archive is home to over 200,000 scanned copies of classic books. Some of them are gorgeously crafted… → Read More