Trivia

Hard

Google Has Leveraged Security Captcha To Successfully Do What?

Solve Encryption Algorithms
Fold Proteins
Digitize Books
Analyze Astronomical Data

Answer: Digitize Books

A captcha is a small puzzle intended to establish that the user of a service or interface is human. Any time you’ve gone to sign up for an email newsletter, join a discussion forum, or other online activity and been asked to identify a word, read text with scribbles through it, label a photo, or other activity that a computer would be terrible at but even a very unclever human would excel at, you’ve experienced a captcha.

Historically, captchas were just blurbs of text or numbers meshed into a loud background. If you were a computer, you couldn’t easily parse out the data hidden in the image file, but a human could easily see that behind all the yellow and blue marks there was a sequence of letters and numbers like “Y345LW8”. Type that sequence in and you confirm that you’re not just a dirty spam bot.

What if you could leverage all those hundreds of thousands of useless captcha solutions and make them useful? That’s exactly what Google did with the reCaptcha system. Instead of giving you a random string of letters and numbers masked by hash marks, they serve up a pair of words from their enormous database of digitized books, newspapers, and other documents. All of those documents have been worked over by Google’s OCR software, but as anyone who has used OCR software can tell you, even the best software is very unreliable. Humans, however, are fantastic at reading text that is blurry, smudged, unclear, or otherwise unrecognizable to a machine. So every time you visit a web site with a reCaptcha in place, you’re actually helping Google to figure out exactly what that scanned word is. When enough users return the same value for the word, it is reanalyzed and confirmed.

Trivia

Easy

Which Modern Day Actor Landed A Role Portraying His Very Distant And Famous Cousin?

Trivia

Hard

In Time Travel Stories, Something That Appears In Multiple Times Is Known As A?

Trivia

Hard

Iconic Comedy Film “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” Was Financed By What Unlikely Source?

Trivia

Hard

The Security Feature Wherein “VOID” Appears On Photocopied Documents Is Called A?

Trivia

Easy

Which Country Has The Most Vending Machines Per Capita?

Trivia

Easy

Which Tech Company Once Consumed 100% Of The World’s CD Production Capabilities?

Trivia

Hard

The Wreck Of The Titanic Was Discovered While Searching For?

Trivia

Easy

Many Airlines, To Prevent Disruption Of Cockpit Operations, Require Their Pilots and Co-Pilots To?

Trivia

Hard

Blade Runner, Total Recall, A Scanner Darkly, And Minority Report Are All Based On Works By?

Trivia

Easy

Throughout The Early 20th Century, Mail In New York City Was Delivered Via?