Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Play to Pay ATM

Avoid fees by performing a service
  (+9, -6)
(+9, -6)
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As you are waiting to get your money from the foriegn ATM, a screen pops up.

"The fee for out-of-network cardholders to use this machine is $1.50. However, you can avoid this fee by playing a short game for us.

Pay, Play, or Cancel?"

Intrigued, you press the play button. two images of words appear on the screen. The ATM asks you to retype the words next to the images, using the keypad. One of the images is a Turing test, designed to keep players honest, the other is a scanned word from a document that OCR can't identify.

You type the two words in and hit enter. The ATM checks to see that you typed the control word in correctly, and uses your answer to the unknown word to improve their client's OCR software. This game is paid for by companies who need human eyes to solve quick problems too tough for computers...

dbsousa, Aug 08 2007

For Certain Tasks, the Cortex Still Beats the CPU http://www.wired.co.../15-07/ff_humancomp
This is the article that inspired my idea [dbsousa, Aug 13 2007]

[link]






       I like it, but I think you need a better example of someone willing to pay than a dodgy OCR system.   

       'The fee for out-of-network cardholders to use this machine is $150. However, you can avoid this fee by transferring your bank account to us.   

       Transfer, or Pay?'
vincevincevince, Aug 08 2007
  

       I like it! I could also imagine companies offering a brief (say 2-3 question) survey about something, and if you agree to take the survey that's in lieu of the fee.
mimz, Aug 08 2007
  

       I think it should make you play charades to get what you want.
DrCurry, Aug 08 2007
  

       It would rapidly become socially unacceptable to "play" if it took longer than 30 seconds.
leinypoo13, Aug 09 2007
  

       (entering charades password in front of camera)   

       "First number - single digit - sounds like - "
normzone, Aug 09 2007
  

       This idea is just silly... using dedicated employees for this job is much more efficient, both in time spent and accuracy.   

       I think an ATM that spits out coupons for nearby stores would make a lot more money than this idea.   

       It's an ATM. It's supposed to say to people, fast, convenient, secure. This idea changes these things.
twitch, Aug 10 2007
  

       "This idea is just silly... using dedicated employees for this job is much more efficient, both in time spent and accuracy."   

       Not according to Luis von Ahn, The MacArthur Genius grant awardee whose research prompted my idea (see link). His premise is if people can be coaxed into playing a game that that contributes to solving a computing problem, he calculates, it would produce billions of man-hours of labor each year. Some of his games are not exciting enough to prompt people to play for free, however. removing ATM fees might provide the right incentive to play these less interesting games...
dbsousa, Aug 13 2007
  

       Hmm, I’m not sure about OCR fixing, but getting it to do a survey would work, the survey wouldn’t be made by the bank however, get other companies to pay the bank to present surveys for them. That way the bank makes money either way, something none of them could refuse!
deep fried ice-cream, Aug 13 2007
  

       heh - charades - I'm just imagining the massive infrastructure set up to deliver real-time video feeds from every ATM in the country to the big building packed full of trained charades judges who will deliver the verdict on whether you're allowed a free cash withdrawal.
hippo, Sep 07 2011
  

       So the ATM operator loses $1.50 for each word identified.   

       That's an expensive way to supplement an OCR system.
Twizz, Sep 07 2011
  
      
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