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TED Quotes

Massive-scale online collaboration

The question that motivates my research is, if we can put a man on the Moon with 100,000 [people], what can we do with 100 million? — Luis von Ahn


After re-purposing a computer challenge-response test so that each human-typed response helps digitise books, Luis von Ahn wondered how else to use small contributions by many on the Internet for the greater good. His ambitious new project, Duolingo, will help millions learn a new language while translating the Web quickly and accurately – all for free. Talk recorded 3 April 2012.

About the Speaker

Luis von Ahn builds systems that combine humans and computers to solve large-scale problems that neither can solve alone. Louis von Ahn is an associate professor of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University, US,  and he's at the forefront of the crowdsourcing craze. His work takes advantage of the evergrowing web-connected population to acheive collaboration in unprecedented numbers. His projects aim to leverage the crowd for human good. His company reCAPTCHA, sold to Google in 2009, digitizes human knowledge (books), one word at a time. His new project is Duolingo, which aims to get 100 million people translating the web in every major language.

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