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reCAPTCHA eases up on the human eye

Posted October 28, 2013
reCAPTCHA eases up on the human eye
Google, assuming you are human and reading this, wants you to know that CAPTCHAs are more readable. There will be easier days ahead than having to put your face against the screen, struggling to figure out if the string wants you to key in a v and u or a single w, or if an indescribable shape is really an exotic r. For humans, deciphering a CAPTCHA string may get easier but a tougher time is ahead for bots because their CAPTCHAs will be designed to stop the bots from getting through. The new, easier reCAPTCHAs are numbers. On Friday, a blog post from Google’s Vinay Shet, Product Manager, reCAPTCHA, said that “Humans find numeric CAPTCHAs significantly easier to solve than those containing arbitrary text and achieve nearly perfect pass rates on them. So with our new system, you’ll encounter CAPTCHAs that are a breeze to solve.”

Google’s new update involves different classes of CAPTCHAs for different kinds of users. “This multi-faceted approach allows us to determine whether a potential user is actually a human or not,” he wrote. Shet said more about the good news. “The distorted letters serve less as a test of humanity and more as a medium of engagement to elicit a broad range of cues that characterize humans and bots.” The team members behind reCAPTCHA nonetheless maintained their focus on how to distinguish legitimate users from automated software. “The updated system uses advanced risk analysis techniques, said Shet, “actively considering the user’s entire engagement with the CAPTCHA—before, during and after they interact with it.”

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