Attention, Bots! Google Is Redoing ReCAPTCHA

You know those distorted images of texts that Google makes you read in order to ensure you are a human? Google is redoing them so there is less reliance on distorted texts.

CAPTCHAs, or reCAPCHAs as Google calls its version, are designed to keep software agents from logging into sites where they donEUt belong. The reason the technology giant is undertaking this revision is that EUover the last few years advances in artificial intelligence have reduced the gap between human and machine capabilities in deciphering distorted text,EU according to a posting Friday on the Google blog by reCAPTCHA Product Manager Vinay Shet.

Vicarious' Algorithms

In what may be a related development, a San Francisco-based startup called Vicarious announced last Sunday, two days after the Google posting, that it had developed algorithms which could EUreliably solve modern CAPTCHAs,EU including GoogleEUs. Vicarious said a CAPTCHA can be considered broken if software can decipher it as least one percent of the time. The company claims that its success rate for GoogleEUs reCAPTCHA, the most widely used version, is as high as 90 percent. For individual letters, Vicarious said its software could achieve 95 percent accuracy.

Shet said on the Google blog that the new reCAPTCHA is the result of extensive research, and is now EUmore adaptive and better equipped to distinguish legitimate users from automated software.EU

The new system uses advanced risk techniques that help to elicit clues about whether the would-be entrant is a carbon- or a silicon-based unit. Google will now be presenting different kinds of reCAPTCHAs for different kinds of users, and the company said it will help to serve easier-to-solve visual puzzles to EUour legitimate users.EU But if youEUre a bot reading this, beware, as the system will somehow suspect you and will make you burn up cycles over more difficult images.

Optical Character Recognition

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