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Using reCAPTCHA to digitize books of interest to the Church

Posted: Wed Jul 22, 2009 12:27 pm
by bakers84-p40
I ran across a talk about something called reCAPTCHA that is taking those annoying "type in this word" things that are used throughout the Internet for a good use, namely to digitize books. Apparently, they have been able to digitize the entire archives of the New York Times pretty quickly by pairing up with large providers like Facebook, Yahoo, etc.

Anyhow, the thought occurred to me that this is exactly what is needed to more quickly digitize many books of interest to the Church, including for genealogical purposes. Of course, the church could use reCAPTCHA for sites they have direct control over that already use CAPTCHA, but I imagine the number of words per day would be relatively small. In addition to doing this, my thought was the Church could use its financial resources to get books of interest into the pipeline to be digitized via the big players.

Anyhow, I wasn't really sure where to post this suggestion, so this was one place I thought I'd try. Apparently this is getting a lot of press recently so maybe someone has already had the same idea. I even saw a piece on PBS about the same thing a bit ago. Anyhow, I've listed some links below for anyone who wants to watch/read up on how this works.

A video of a recent talk Luis von Ahn gave about reCAPTCHA at the Library of Congress Symposium - ... annel_page
A PDF of his slides - ... vonAhn.pdf
The reCAPTCHA site itself -

Posted: Wed Jul 22, 2009 2:25 pm
by WelchTC
Thanks for the suggestion. The curriculum department is the department at the Church that is in charge of much of the type of content you are talking about. I'll forward them the link to this forum.