Luis von Ahn

Computer scientist
Luis von Ahn builds systems that combine humans and computers to solve large-scale problems that neither can solve alone.

Why you should listen

Louis von Ahn is an associate professor of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University, and he's at the forefront of the crowdsourcing craze. His work takes advantage of the evergrowing Web-connected population to acheive collaboration in unprecedented numbers. His projects aim to leverage the crowd for human good. His company reCAPTCHA, sold to Google in 2009, digitizes human knowledge (books), one word at a time. His new project is Duolingo, which aims to get 100 million people translating the Web in every major language.

Luis von Ahn’s TED talks

Quotes from Luis von Ahn

Before the Internet, coordinating more than 100,000 people, let alone paying them, was essentially impossible. But now with the Internet, I’ve just shown you a project where we’ve gotten 750 million people to help us digitize human knowledge.
Luis von Ahn
TEDxCMU • 1M views Dec 2011
Ingenious, Inspiring
The current business model for language education is the student pays — in particular, the student pays Rosetta Stone $500. The problem with this business model is that 95 percent of the world’s population doesn’t have $500.
Luis von Ahn
TEDxCMU • 1M views Dec 2011
Ingenious, Inspiring