School of Informatics

Human Computation: reCAPTCHA and The ESP Game

By Luis von Ahn, Carnegie Mellon University

Luis von Ahn

This talk is about harnessing human time and energy to address problems that computers cannot yet solve. Although computers have advanced dramatically in many respects over the last 50 years, they still do not possess the basic conceptual intelligence or perceptual capabilities that most humans take for granted. By leveraging human skills and abilities in a novel way, I want to solve large-scale computational problems and collect training data to teach computers many of the basic human talents.

To this end, I treat human brains as processors in a distributed system, each performing a small part of a massive computation. Unlike computer processors, however, humans require an incentive in order to become part of a collective computation. Among other things, I show how to use online games as a means to encourage participation in the process.

Human Computation: reCAPTCHA and The ESP Game Wednesday 17 November 2010, 4.00pm Informatics Forum G.07 and G.07a, 10 Crichton Street

This lecture will be followed by a drink and canape reception.