16 December 2011 / by Radmila Gurkova

Learning Languages with CAPTCHAs


The term CAPTCHA (for Completely Automated Public Turing Test To Tell Computers and Humans Apart) was coined in 2000 by Luis von Ahn, Manuel Blum, Nicholas Hopper and John Langford of Carnegie Mellon University. Luis - the man who brought you the word CAPTCHA and reCAPTCHA, now unveils his newest and most innovative project to date, please watch the video.

The process is a type of challenge response test used in computing as an attempt to ensure the response is generated by a human.

The process usually involves one computer (a server) asking a user to complete a simple test which the computer is able to generate and grade. Because other computers are assumed to be unable to solve the CAPTCHA, any user entering a correct solution is presumed to be human. Thus, it is sometimes described as a reverse Turing test (The Turing test is a test of a machine's ability to exhibit intelligent behaviour) because it is administered by a machine and targeted at a human, in contrast to the standard Turing test that is typically administered by a human and targeted at a machine. A common type of CAPTCHA requires the user to type letters or digits from a distorted image that appears on the screen.

Yes we've all done this at some point and got it right or probably got it wrong... Go through this target language relating to CAPTCHA, taken from a conference by Luis von Ahn.

Word Image Definition Example Listen
 CAPTCHA Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart; a type of challenge-response test used in computing as an attempt to ensure that the response is generated by a person Amazon.com uses CAPTCHAs.  Listen
 Check The act or an instance of inspecting or testing, as for accuracy or quality; examination. The careful check of each unit before sale; gave the car an oil check.  Listen
 Deploy To spread out strategically A poet demanded that the government end its strategy of deploying the army against crime groups. Listen
 Spam Electronic mail with irrelevant content I receive a lot of spam in my mail.  Listen
Digitize To convert (data) to digital form for use in a computer. Today a lot of books are digitize. Listen
Expenditure The act of expending something, especially funds; disbursement; consumption. A Rolex watch is an unnecessary expenditure.  Listen
 Untapped Not utilized:not used The company had untapped resources that we were able to use.  Listen
 Response An answer or reply I need a response to the question.  Listen


"After re-purposing CAPTCHA so each human-typed response helps digitize books, Luis von Ahn wondered how else to use small contributions by many on the Internet for greater good. At TEDxCMU, he shares how his ambitious new project, Duolingo, will help millions learn a new language while translating the Web quickly and accurately -- all for free."



Click here to read a post that helps to explain one of the grammar issues in this video: the use of 'real' and 'really'.

There is another post here that helps set out some points about the use of the verb 'to have' related to this topic.


Click here to read the transcript of the CAPTCHA video presentation.



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