Economical Value of Reading – Porn,SPAM,OCR and Mechnical Turks

Gigaom has a nice write-up on using Captcha for improving OCR accuracy.

In essence , the service is adding a second Captcha word in order to make humans fix OCR recognition errors.

Few observations regrading the idea:

1. In Amazon’s mechanical Turk one would get $0.04 for doing human Optical Character Recognition.Why should one do it for free ?  Just to login to Craig’s list ? How long does it take before people realize they can skip the second word ?

2. It has been known that spammers used to put webmail cpatch’es in front of porn sites to automate account creation. We can draw the following non proven equation :

Webmail account for Spamming = Porn Site Login Credentials = Reading a Distorted Word = 4 Cents

3.   The world record for speed reading is 4251 words per minute. This means she could make 170$ per minute , if only she could read them that fast ( 25,000 words per minute ), but is seems voice recognition would fail here. Back to square one.

4. OCR has been stuck for many years waiting for NLP to evolve. Did spammers really imporve it that much ? I know I have a big problem reading many of the Captcha these days.

Seems that grid and passion can spark innovation.

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