Google’s Kinda Done With CAPTCHA; ReCAPTCHA is the New Thing

The Internet’s ultimate inquisitiveness of whether we are humans or robots had once led to the invention of CAPTCHA, or the jumbled up, mostly meaningless warped words asking us to prove our humanness over and over again.

But, CAPTCHA, like its full form (Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart) isn’t just boring. It is exhausting and often tires the hell out of us. And, by and large, it has somehow lost its value, thanks to the algorithm updates major search engines are coming up with, pretty much every day. So, Google, the search engine giant, has decided to do away with it. Well, almost.

Why does Google hate CAPTCHA?
The automated scripts of CAPTCHAs were initially meant to filter out spam and spammers. But, hackers proved smarter than the scripts, breaking them just at the snap of a finger. This is only history. Today, these weird word-letter combos let at least one in ten scripts run by a spammer pass the filter without getting detected, and can be easily broken in more than 99% attempts. Google was very aware of this and was ever since looking out for something to replace it.

What’s ReCAPTCHA? What does it do?
ReCAPTCHA means CAPTCHA is gone. Literally. Users will not have to type in funny words (if those are words at all!) anymore. Instead, the activity to verify your humanness shall be restricted to simply clicking a little box and presto! You are done with your attestation. Of course, if you, somehow, fail to convince the cyber brain, there shall be a more elaborate evaluation awaiting you.

What if ReCAPTCHA fails?
An unfortunate failure may revert you back to the old, painful text CAPTCHA system (see, Google has only killed it partially) or may even have a newer, better option to carry on the test, like letting you recognize a picture, perhaps. These alternatives are making CAPTCHA a mobile-friendly approach, using the data from the images to enhance Google’s Image Search.

This auto-human detection test with a single-step validation to tell humans and robots apart sure is a good option. But, Google hasn’t provided with a detailed description of this update as of yet. It’s likely that some websites will continue using the traditional text-recognition systems. And about how the blind ones will deal without the audio option is still ticking every tech enthusiast’s neurons.

But somehow, the fact that we don’t have to strain our eyes over illegible letters and words, or waste our energy doubting our eyesight and intellect, just for the sake of proving own flesh and blood, is more than exhilarating. In fact, it’s awesome.

A post by Chayanika Deka. 14th January, 2015.


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