Google CAPTCHAs (Acquires) reCAPTCHA For Book Scanning Project

September 16, 2009

(ChattahBox) — Google Inc. announced Wednesday that it has acquired reCaptcha for an undisclosed sum, to improve fraud and spam protection, and accelerate its massive efforts to scan millions of books and periodicals. CAPTCHA, which stands for “Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart,”  are used to insure a real person is verified to register for online services, such as webmail accounts and Web site registrations, by displaying those darn squiggly letters that are sometimes impossible to read. Computer programs cannot easily recognize these letters, so if the user gets it right, it’s a fair bet that a human is behind the computer screen and not a machine.

ReCAPTCHA takes its word images from scanned print materials, often offering two words, one of which is a captcha it already knows, and one of which is a word it doesn’t know. So every time people solve a CAPTCHA from the company, they are also, as a byproduct, helping to turn scanned words into plain text thereby updating the vocabulary of participating book scanners, which can be indexed and made searchable by search engines.

“So we’ll be applying the technology within Google not only to increase fraud and spam protection for Google products but also to improve our books and newspaper scanning process,” reads a post in Google’s official blog authored by Luis von Ahn, cofounder of reCAPTCHA, and Will Cathcart, a Google product manager.

Google Books, the search engine giants new online book initiative, has galvanized authors, libraries and corporate giants such as Amazon, Microsoft and Yahoo, who have formed a coalition known as the Open Book Alliance, saying the project is anti-competitive.

Source: PC World


4 Responses to “Google CAPTCHAs (Acquires) reCAPTCHA For Book Scanning Project”

  1. cb on bonanzle on September 17th, 2009 1:34 am

    Google really and truly needs to focus on working on the products and services they already have before spending money frivolously in trying to buy up everything. Another microsoft type corporation if the truth is to be told.

    I am NOT a fan of reCAPTCHA and I encourage everyone to go read mashable’s article titled “Facebook Captcha: What You DON’T Need to Type” and start purposely screwing up the Captchas. Google wanting to digitize and own all books of the world is just NOT a good thing.

    And also Captcha’s do NOT stop spammers in any way, shape or form, as spammers use program scripts to get around them and spam thousands of sites.

  2. Susan on September 17th, 2009 10:30 am

    The picture shown is *NOT* a reCaptcha image at all.

    Why is chattahbox always loaded with wrong/false info?

  3. Susan on September 17th, 2009 10:31 am

    > And also Captcha’s do NOT stop spammers in any way, shape or form, as
    > spammers use program scripts to get around them and spam thousands of
    > sites.

    Captchas stop *HUGE* numbers of spammers.

    reCaptcha is even better than that at stopping spammers.

    Not sure where you heard it “doesn’t stop even 1 spammer”.

  4. surinder sharma on September 18th, 2009 2:08 am

    Google reCAPTCHA will help to keep away spam and other automated software from than 100,000 websites as those websites have now Google powered CAPTCHA technology.

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