You know the deal. A fuzzy, distorted word (or two) pops up on your computer, and you have to type in the answer to continue. You've come across reCAPTCHA—the brainchild of Carnegie Mellon’s Louis von Ahn, associate professor of computer science. Recently, von Ahn won the Association for Computing Machinery’s Grace Murray Hopper Award for his work on reCAPTCHA and other projects that create a synergy between computers and humans to solve problems and work more efficiently. In the case of reCAPTCHA, you’re re-typed words are used to protect Web sites from automated spam “bots” and to help digitize old books, newspapers, and radio shows.
Elizabeth May

Related Links:
The reCAPTCH Project