USA - 2011
For his research in harnessing the human side of human-computer interaction for computational goals.
Luis von Ahn's research work has thrust forward the research area known as human computation where computational abilities of humans combine with computers to accomplish useful outcomes. He has shown, using multiple examples, how the involvement of humans in computationally challenging tasks can bring about solutions to problems that are difficult for computers alone. In particular, his work on "Games with a Purpose" showed how human gameplay can be harnessed to tackle challenging image recognition problems. His work on reCAPTCHA showed how humans can be teamed with computers to translate old printed documents into machine-encoded text more accurately than would be otherwise possible, even with the best optical character recognition algorithms. Luis's work has helped lead human computation to its status as a significant area of computer science research.