[Athen] You might be digitizing books ...

Berkowitz, Daniel J djbrky at bu.edu
Fri May 25 04:24:56 PDT 2007

... and not even know it!


Again with the Carnegie Mellon where a scientist is looking to create a
new type of security check that will assist in a project meant to
digitize and make searchable text from books and printed materials.
Above and beyond that, the offering would probably be more secure than
most current systems. You know those CAPTCHA's
s.html> we all dislike so very much --- thanks to them (and some behind
the scenes stealth) you may be helping to digitize books on the web
<http://www.networkworld.com/community/?q=node/15522> .

According to NetWorkWorld <http://www.networkworld.com/> :

"Instead of requiring visitors to retype random numbers and letters,
they would retype text that otherwise is difficult for the optical
character recognition systems to decipher when being used to digitize
books and other printed materials. The translated text would then go
toward the digitization of the printed material on behalf of the
Internet Archive project."

This reminds me of a Google Tech Talks
<http://video.google.com/googleplex.html#tech> lecture by Luis von Ahn
(Computer Science Department at Carnegie Mellon) on the topic of Human
Based Computation <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human-based_computation>
. This talk (available via Google Video
name+pictures+on+web> ):

introduces a paradigm for utilizing human processing power to
solve problems that computers cannot yet solve. Traditional approaches
to solving such problems focus on improving software. [von Ahn]
advocate[s] a novel approach: constructively channel human brainpower
using computer games. For example, the ESP Game
<http://www.espgame.org/> , described in this talk, is an enjoyable
online game -- many people play over 40 hours a week -- and when people
play, they help label images on the Web with descriptive keywords. These
keywords can be used to significantly improve the accuracy of image
search. People play the game not because they want to help, but because
they enjoy it. I describe other examples of "games with a purpose":
Peekaboom <http://www.peekaboom.org/> , which helps determine the
location of objects in images, and Verbosity, which collects
common-sense knowledge.
Posted By D. Berkowitz to Access Technologists Higher Education
b.html> at 5/24/2007 08:38:00 PM

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