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This article was published on June 12, 2015

Harnessing Human Time and Energy for Society

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Luis is known as one of the pioneers of crowdsourcing having invented CAPTCHAs, reCAPTCHA and now Duolingo. His talk is about harnessing human time and energy to address societal problems that computers cannot yet solve. Although computers have advanced dramatically in many respects over the last 50 years, they still do not possess the basic conceptual intelligence or perceptual capabilities that most humans take for granted. By leveraging human skills and abilities in a novel way, he wants to solve large-scale problems for the benefit of society.

In this talk, he uses two of his projects as examples of this philosophy: reCAPTCHA, which has coordinated over one billion people to help digitize books, and Duolingo, a free educational platform that is improving language-learning methods while giving everyone access to skill sets that were once available only to a small, privileged minority.