Digitizing Old Books Using Human Computation and reCAPTCHA, with Luis von Ahn

Luis von Ahn, CEO of Duolingo and one of the inventors of CAPTCHA, explains how reCAPTCHA harnesses the abilities of both humans and computers in order to accomplish tasks such as the digitization of old books.

Technology & Innovation

Back at the beginning of the century, Luis von Ahn helped invent CAPTCHA, the online security device featuring squiggly letters that you have to re-type in order to prove you're human. In 2007, von Ahn invented reCAPTCHA, a new form of CAPTCHA that serves a second purpose: the digitization of old books.

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Technology & Innovation

Luis von Ahn describes the model for the free language-learning platform, Duolingo. The idea, he says, goes back to his childhood, where he imagined a model for a gymnasium that sustained itself by reselling people-produced energy. Von Ahn is the CEO and Co-founder of Duolingo.