Digital innovation: Language translation using crowdsourcing
Translating documents is usually a fairly expensive (approx. 20 cents/word) and time consuming task. WSJ today has interesting article about how Duolingo has essentially turned its app into a crowdsourced mechanism to translate pieces of text. Users of the app (once they are ready) are presented with a text to translate in a language; Duolingo aggregates the responses from multiple users and uses that as the answer/translation.
If this sounds eerily familiar to the reCaptcha idea, it’s because it’s from the same person – Von Ahn. Dulingo plans to sell this as service and is expecting to make on the order of $10M/year. Now, that’s what I call digital innovation.