Saturday, September 19, 2009

Gotcha, Captcha!

Bit of a nerdy one this time. Google pulled on their Timberlands and strolled down to the chopin centra this week. Bored and loaded, they just had to buy something, so ReCAPTCHA got bought. You'll know them as these guys, the security text box you have to fill in order to validate your life as a non-robot.
Interesting thing is that it wasn't just a random fuckit-let's-splurge purchase. (Ok, that's not even remotely unusual, considering that this is Google we're talking about.) Google have a maniacal obsession with the information of the world, and clever little ReCAPTCHA isn't just a security programme. The words you're asked to verify are scanned archival material from newspapers and books. When you type them in, you're actually teaching the computer to understand the words because they have trouble with degraded ink. Computers are learning exponential- wait, someone's downstairs... asking for a Sarah Connor. Hang on a minute, I'll be back-

Coming up next on Adland: How Google mistakenly bought pornography portal Go Ogle...

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