Monday, October 8, 2007

Login for a greater good

When you want to post a comment to a blog or send an email from a relatively new email account, you have to type in a series of distorted letters and numbers (a CAPTCHA) to prove you're a person and not a computer looking to add comment spam to a blog.

What if – instead of wasting your time and energy on typing ‘SGO9DXG’ you could label an image that will help someone who is visually impaired go shopping?

That’s exactly what computer scientists from UC San Diego led by computer science professor Serge Belongie are working on. They are presenting this work at a computer vision conference in October in Rio (
ICCV 2007).
The image describes one of the many useful tasks that could be done by people who are proving that they are live humans and not computers trying to put spam comments on a blog. These kinds of labeling tasks are time consuming but important for Belongie's Grozi project -- which is an effort to create a grocery shopping assistant for the visually impaired (2006 press release).

You can download the PDF of the paper here.

Here is the press release.

Parlez-vour francais? Read the story in on the French tech site: L'Atelier

This work is related the work from Luis von Ahn that has been described by the BBC, TechCrunch and others.

No comments: