Crowdsourcing, Captchas and the Gutenberg Project

A captcha is a simple way for a computer to tell the difference between a computer and human. Generally, as you fill out forms, a captcha to ensure you are you, and not a computer trying to bog down servers or databases. Each captcha image is attached to a specific word, and unless the word you entered matches the word that the captcha image is attached to, you will be considered a computer and your application will be denied.  Since millions of individuals were filling out these captchas every day, Google thought of the idea of using them to crowd source the task of digitizing books using captchas. Thus the ReCaptcha project was born.  Instead of giving you one word, the ReCaptcha give you two words to solve. One of those words is a traditional captcha, but the (insert Recaptcha here) second comes from a book that is being digitized.  The word they give you are words that computers are not sure about, and let humans decide what those words are. In that way, every time you solve a captcha, you are helping to digitize the world’s books.


4 thoughts on “Crowdsourcing, Captchas and the Gutenberg Project

  1. Pingback: 42 « Hakuna Matata

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