Wednesday, May 30, 2007

reCaptcha Barnraising

Word puzzles known as CAPTCHAs (completely automated public Turing tests to tell computers and humans apart) will become part of the effort to digitize texts. The project, named reCAPTCHA, is one of many projects that enlist the wisdom of the crowd to organize and evaluate information.

Luis von Ahn, professor of computer science at Carnegie Mellon, helped develop the CAPTCHAs about seven years ago. He says that optical character recognition doesn't always work on text that is older, faded or distorted. The only way to digitize those is to type them into a computer manually. Von Ahn is working with the Internet Archive, which runs several book-scanning projects, to use CAPTCHAs for this instead.

It's definitely a barn-raising to try to build the great library," said Brewster Kahle, co-founder of the Internet Archive. Snippets from CNN Tech News and Tech Shout.

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