Sunday, 6 October 2013

Sweating the assets

Have you seen this TED talk by Luis von Ahn? It's interesting stuff.

 Luis Invented that annoying thing you have to type in to prove you're a human when you buy stuff.  Guess what? When you do that you're helping Google withwith their mission to digitise old books. They need humans to get the words the computers can't read out of the old books!

Luis' latest venture is Duolingo. Kenny uses it. It helps you learn a new language. You do this by translating increasingly difficult text. Where does this text come from? It's websites that need to be translated! If several people translate the same text badly, you end up with a pretty good translation.

I am very impressed with Luis' ingenuity. It reminds me of the EasyJet philosophy of sweating the assets. The theory that you use the same staff to clean and attend flights, and you keep your 'planes moving. It makes sense. It's efficient. But is it desirable?

I've been thinking about it, and the closest I get to sweating my assets with technical multitasking is checking Facebook while I'm on the loo. Sorry about that.

What about you? Do you do technical multitasking? And what do you think Luis will come up with next?