Translating the Internet

Luis von Ahn, one of the founders of CAPTCHA and coincidently, re-CAPTCHA, has devised a way to use the power of the world community to translate the internet into every major language.

So, what is CAPTCHA and who will translate the internet?

CAPTCHA, for those who didn’t know this “thing” had a name is the squiggly words you end up typing on the internet when you are filling out a form:

Essentially re-CAPTCHA is a newer version of the line squiggles with 2 words — one word for the human checking part, and one from an old book that a computer could not digitalize. It effectively out-sources book digitalization to the masses. At the moment, this amount of CAPTCHA-ing adds up to 2.5 million books a year being digitalized.

All of this is explained in the talk, as well as how the newest project, Duolingo, will use this idea of collective time & knowledge to translate the internet … one word, one sentence at a time.