Luis von Ahn, the co-founder of the popular language-learning platform Duolingo as well as the cyber-security system CAPTCHA and reCAPTCHA, is the recipient of the 2018 Lemelson-MIT prize, which awards a mid-career inventor whose patented product or process has significantly improved society.
The $500,000 prize, the largest cash prize for invention in the U.S., was formally announced on Wednesday at the MIT Technology Review's EmTech conference.
He is currently working full-time as the CEO of Duolingo, a free technology platform, including Apps, offering 82 language courses to over 300 million users around the world, to make language learning accessible.
He is also the cofounder of CAPTCHA, which stands for Completely Automated Public Turing, widely used by websites to tell computers and humans apart. It requires users to retype a few computer-generated characters to prove they're not a robot.
From NBC News
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