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possibility [userpic]

recaptcha: crowdsourcing in action

December 14th, 2009 (02:38 pm)

You know those little CAPTCHA images you get on forms - it's usually a word or a string of letters that are all "crumpled" looking. It's supposed to be easy for humans to see but difficult (or impossible) for computers to understand, to keep those nasty spambots out.

Recaptcha is one of the services that offers it - for free. They have plugins for lots of platforms to make implementation easy. And how do they pay for it all? Not with advertising. A: They sell digitizing services.

  1. books/text is messy - can't be read accurately by OCR software
  2. thousands of people identifying what a messy word says
  3. recaptcha
  4. profit!!!

It's the perfect combination.

I think that if we can build games based on the same principle, we'll increase our collective computational power exponentially. What if all those millions of hours people spent playing WoW were actually spent doing useful work?

I think if we were really cool about it, we could train an AI with it.

See also : Google Image Labeler


Posted by: pincheguero (pinchehuero)
Posted at: January 4th, 2010 10:53 pm (UTC)
Live Journal games

I kind of had a similar thought when Kay told me about a Live Journal game that's so conceptual it seems more like work than recreation, but she uses it to take a break or when she's bored. I thought, "why not just make real tasks into little computer games".

Posted by: possibility (hobgadling)
Posted at: January 5th, 2010 06:48 pm (UTC)
Re: Live Journal games

I'm curious - what's the LJ game?

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