Saturday, October 26, 2013

Google to make reCAPTCHAs easier (but just for humans)

One might consider it as our biggest enemy on the web: the infamous CAPTCHAs - the tests conceived to confirm we are in fact humans, and not mindless automated systems trying to abuse the system. CAPTCHAs started simple enough, but with automated tools popping up promising to bypass them, thing began to get increasingly more complex.... to the point that even a human will have a hard time answering it these days. Google is finally making it easier... but only if you're human.

Google bought reCAPTCHA a while back. It's an interesting take on CAPTCHAs because not only it does a "are you human" test, but it also serves to identify and recognize words and numbers that will be used by Google in its projects.

Now, it's about to get easier for humans. Google will start actively considering the user’s entire engagement with the CAPTCHA—before, during and after they interact with it. This means that Google will "know" (or at least have a very good idea) if you're human even before you start answering the captcha, based on your behavior. For instance, a human user will most likely spend some time reading the page, scrolling, etc. A automated bot, on the other hand, might try and answer the captcha a few milliseconds after opening the page.

When the system thinks you're a human being, it will present you with easier CAPTCHAs to solve, like ones containing only numeric values.

In the name of the entire human race... I thank them! :)

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