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Google buys anti-spam service to help digitize books

Google Inc. on Wednesday announced that it has acquired reCAPTCHA, a company whose technology can help protect websites from spam and fraud as well as improving the digitization of books.

reCAPTCHA is a provider of CAPTCHA technology, which is often used by websites to ask the user to type letters or digits from a distorted image to tell whether its user is a human or a computer, thus can prevent abuse from automated malicious programs written to generate spam.

Multiple projects, including one launched by Google, are now underway to digitize physical books. The books are often photographically scanned, with images of words then mechanically transformed into text by a technology called optical character recognition (OCR).

The problem is that OCR is not perfect and sometimes is unable to read the words on the images.

reCAPTCHA's services improve the process of digitizing books by sending images of words that cannot be read by the OCR technology to partner websites. The images of words are used as CAPTCHAs for humans to decipher, and the results will be sent to the book digitization projects eventually.

In a blog posting announcing the acquisition, Google said it will apply reCAPTCHA's technology "not only to increase fraud and spam protection for Google products but also to improve our books and newspaper scanning process."


 Source : Xinhua  Editor: Ivy
· Google buys anti-spam service to help digitize books
· Google buys anti-spam service to help digitize books
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