Robot Illiteracy On The Rise

You've seen this before. You are logging into some site or buying tickets online and these two garbled words appear. Resist Applebaum? What does that mean? Nothing, but it is part of a very genius program created by the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon. It is called reCAPTCHA, which isn't an attempt to write out a southern drawl. A CAPTCHA is a Completely Automated Turing Test To Tell Computers and Humans Apart. It's an online security tool. And what makes reCAPTCHA so genius is that not only is it serving the security needs of Internet sites, it is at the very same time, helping to digitize printed books. A process of scanning pages using what is called Optical Character Recognition works pretty well. But the system is not perfect and sometimes words cannot be determined. That is where reCAPTCHA comes in and runs the words through still the most intelligent working computer: the human brain.



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