Doctorate Housewife

What my degree in IPE didn't teach me about baking, DIY, fitness, and life…

Bet you didn’t know you were helping to save history!

If you’re like me then those annoying little boxes with barely distinguishable characters that show up whenever you try to email a NY Times article to a friend or make a comment on a new blog are a huge pet peeve. I’m glad to know that I’m helping prevent spam, but constantly having to prove that I’m not a robot gets old fast… at least it did, but I’ve gained a whole new perspective on the issue. I learned something else from that Brain Trust book I’ve been reading. Do you know what you’re doing when you fill in those boxes??? The secret is in the fact that there are two “words” in a reCaptcha box. Have you figured it out?

The first one does indeed prove that you’re not a robot. But the second one is the cool one. The second one is where you’re helping to save history! Google books is trying to digitise ancient manuscripts before they’re lost forever. They scan them and then run them through text recognition software. But the older and more endangered the manuscript the less likely that text recognition software will be able to do a sufficient job. Enter you and millions of other people. Remember those two words? The first proves that you’re not a robot and tests your deciphering skills against a known word. The second you are translating. Your opinion is compared with others and together we’re saving the world! Ok, maybe not the whole world, but together we’re translating about 70million words a day, that’s a couple million books a year, and over 750million distinct people have helped. Imagine what else we could do if we worked together!



2 comments on “Bet you didn’t know you were helping to save history!

  1. Patty
    May 19, 2012

    I had often wondered about the kind of words used – good point!

  2. Pingback: Best Books of 2012 « Doctorate Housewife

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This entry was posted on May 18, 2012 by in Uncategorized.

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