Spam weapon helps preserve books

Brilliant! A million words from old manuscripts are being digitized each day by people doing just what they would normally be doing on the internet.

A weapon used to fight spammers is now helping university researchers preserve old books and manuscripts.
Many websites use an automated test to tell computers and humans apart when signing up to an account or logging in.
The test consists of typing in a few random letters in an image and is designed to fight spammers.
Carnegie Mellon is using this test to help decipher words in books that machines cannot read by letting sites use them to authenticate log-ins.
The test, known as a CAPTCHA (Completely Automated Turing Test To Tell Computers and Humans Apart), was originally designed at Carnegie Mellon to help to keep out automated programs known as “bots.”

BBC NEWS | Technology | Spam weapon helps preserve books