ReCAPTCHAs have been assisting Google for the past three years by collecting data submitted by guests. No longer consisting of just blurry words, new ReCAPTCHAs will display real images still mixed with the classic blurred words. Google is pulling images of street signs that its uncertain of from Street View and displaying them in the ReCAPTCHA boxes. The data submitted will then be sent back, where collected, will either confirm Google’s guess or correct it.
ReCAPTCHA was originally developed at Carnegie Mellon University to improve CAPTCHAs (Completely Automated Public Turing Test To Tell Computers and Humans Apart), aka, the distorted, sometimes impossible text to read developed to halter the creation of online accounts from automated bots.
Google acquired the technology back in 2009 and has since been using CAPTCHAs to use humans in assisting decipher words from aged books in Google’s Google Book project. Google has also utilized this method with the Google News archive to decipher old print newspapers.
Google confirmed to TechCrunch about this new experiment. Google hopes this method will increase the accuracy of its Street View software.