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Can You Crowdsource Without Even Knowing It?

By NPR/TED Staff | NPR
Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Part 2 of the TED Radio Hour episode Why We Collaborate.

About Luis Von Ahn's TEDTalk

Computer programmer Luis von Ahn wondered how else to use small contributions done by millions on the Internet for greater good. He put CAPTCHAs, those online puzzles to verify you're not a robot, to work by digitizing books and teaching foreign languages.

About Luis Von Ahn

Luis von Ahn builds systems that combine humans and computers to solve large-scale problems that neither can solve alone. Von Ahn is an associate professor of computer science at Carnegie Mellon University, and he's at the forefront of the crowdsourcing craze. His work takes advantage of the evergrowing Web-connected population to achieve collaboration in unprecedented numbers. His projects aim to leverage the crowd for human good. His company reCAPTCHA, sold to Google in 2009, digitizes books with the help of CAPTCHAs, the online word puzzles used to verify a user is a human. His new project is Duolingo, which aims to get 100 million people translating the Web in every major language.

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