luis von ahn

luis von ahn

[pittsburgh, pa]

Founder and CEO of reCAPTCHA and @duolingo. Computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon.

someone (will try to fill in when i remember) was telling a group of us about Luis and recaptcha..

then this was tweeted:

von ahn post

so clever..


even more clever… thinking behind duolingo.. crowdsourcing people to translate the web for free.. and in return they learn a language for free (no more $500 rosetta stone only for the rich)

duolingo best ed


tedxcmu 2011:

Massive-scale online collaboration

After re-purposing CAPTCHA so each human-typed response helps digitize books, Luis von Ahn wondered how else to use small contributions by many on the Internet for greater good. In this talk, he shares how his ambitious new project, Duolingo, will help millions learn a new language while translating the Web quickly and accurately — all for free. (Filmed at TEDxCMU.)

9 min –

100 mill from luis

people learn language, w/o paying $500 each for ie: rosetta stone

wikipedia gets translated to spanish, in 80 hours

– – – – –

fair business model for (language) education:

currently student pays, but 95% of population can’t

in duolingo you are creating value – don’t have to pay translators with money – translators pay with time – but time that would have had to be spent anyway learning the language


so Luis et al, .. what if –

7 bill for luis

people find local (& virtual) tribe daily, (reduce time between intention & action), w/o spending trillions on public education/health/crime/politics…

world (via jack et al) gets a do over, w/in 1-2 years

– – – –

fair business model for (life) education:

currently people spend 7 hours a day at school/work/surviving, doing something they are told/expected to do, but 95% of population wouldn’t choose this (if they believed it were legal to think for themselves)

in redefine school you are creating value – don’t have to pay translators/game designers/researchers/et al with money – all these problems-solvers/co-creators pay with time – but time that would have had to be spent anyway in school/work/surviving


find/follow Luis:

link twitter

link facebook

on carnegie melon site:
carnegie melon luis

wikipedia small

Luis von Ahn (born 1979) is a Guatemalan entrepreneur and an associate professor in the Computer Science Department atCarnegie Mellon University. He is known as one of the pioneers of crowdsourcing. He is the founder of the companyreCAPTCHA, which was sold to Google in 2009. As a professor, his research includes CAPTCHAs and human computation,and has earned him international recognition and numerous honors. He was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship (a.k.a., the “genius grant”) in 2006, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation Fellowship in 2009, a Sloan Fellowship in 2009, and a Microsoft New Faculty Fellowship in 2007, and the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers in 2012. He has also been named one of the 50 Best Brains in Science by Discover Magazine, and has made it to many recognition lists that include Popular Science Magazine’s Brilliant 10,’s 50 Most Influential People in Technology, Technology Review’s TR35: Young Innovators Under 35, and FastCompany’s 100 Most Innovative People in Business.


wear able ness


money ness