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Digital Treasure Trove

January 2008
Digital Treasure Trove

Digital Treasure Trove

Digital scanning of entire libraries by the likes of Google and Microsoft continues at a rapid pace and is not likely to stop anytime soon. However, it’s not just giant corporations that are building this universal treasure trove in cyberspace. One of the earliest such initiatives, launched in 2002, is the Million Book Project led by Professor Raj Reddy of Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. The project’s name is no longer accurate because, as CMU recently announced, the number of books scanned has already exceeded 1.5 million. Their scanning continues at the rate of 7000 books a day in more than 20 languages. A distinctive feature of the Million Book Project is that, with the help of partners around the world, it provides “online texts in many languages for which character-recognition software is not available.” As a professor of computer science and robotics, Raj Reddy’s aim now is to come up with technology that will automatically translate books into various languages.

Compiled/Written by Murali Kamma

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