Feeds

New game site designed to make computers smarter

Or at least taggier

Website security in corporate America

Scientists have launched a new game site designed to make computers smarter by harnessing the cognition of the humans playing the games. Gwap.com, short for games with a purpose, takes a Tom Sawyer approach to solving age-old computer problems by repackaging normally mundane tasks as online fun.

The games are the brainchild of Luis von Ahn, the Carnegie Mellon University professor whose research led to the CAPTCHA, which is used by websites to prevent computer scripts from signing up for accounts. The puzzles with blurred images and squiggly lines take advantage of computers' inherent difficulty recognizing patterns.

It turns out that isn't the only task that eludes computers. They're also not much good at taking an image and telling you if it's a cat or a dog, or describing if a song is happy or sad. So von Ahn is hoping to get online gamers to lend a hand to help change all that.

Gwap.com randomly matches players and engages them in a game that requires them to exchange tags that describe images, sounds and other data that's presented to them at the same time. One game called "Tag a Tune" gives players a clip of a song or a noise and then challenges them to enter as many tags as possible over the next several minutes. Players receive points each time their tag matches that of their partner.

"As people are playing this game, they're doing something useful for the world," von Ahn says. Initially, he plans to use the data to tag a large store of sounds and images he has on hand. Eventually, he hopes the tags will help teach computers how to generate the tags themselves.

Other games on the site include "Matchin, in which players judge which of two images is better looking, Verbosity, which amasses facts for use by artificial intelligence programs, and Squigl, which requires player to trace the outlines of objects in pictures to help teach computer to recognize items photographs. ®

Protecting against web application threats using SSL

More from The Register

next story
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
'Windows 9' LEAK: Microsoft's playing catchup with Linux
Multiple desktops and live tiles in restored Start button star in new vids
iOS 8 release: WebGL now runs everywhere. Hurrah for 3D graphics!
HTML 5's pretty neat ... when your browser supports it
Mathematica hits the Web
Wolfram embraces the cloud, promies private cloud cut of its number-cruncher
Google extends app refund window to two hours
You now have 120 minutes to finish that game instead of 15
Intel: Hey, enterprises, drop everything and DO HADOOP
Big Data analytics projected to run on more servers than any other app
Mozilla shutters Labs, tells nobody it's been dead for five months
Staffer's blog reveals all as projects languish on GitHub
SUSE Linux owner Attachmate gobbled by Micro Focus for $2.3bn
Merger will lead to mainframe and COBOL powerhouse
iOS 8 Healthkit gets a bug SO Apple KILLS it. That's real healthcare!
Not fit for purpose on day of launch, says Cupertino
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.