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March 9, 2017
We're sure that you're familiar with some of those check boxes and puzzles that come up on certain websites, all to figure out whether you are a bot or a human. This might have had you asking yourself the existential question, "Am I a human, or am I actually a robot?" This system, which Google lovingly termed CAPTCHA (Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart) is actually a pretty smart form of AI, and the Silicon Valley tech giants have just made it even cleverer because it no longer requires you to do those puzzles or click those pesky boxes.
Over the years, spammers and bots were getting better at bypassing the AI, degrading our websites with annoying comments filled with links to other sites, poor spelling and even worse grammar. But Google has now found a way to get beat the wrongdoers. Back in 2014, Google announced reCAPTCHA, which did away with the image puzzles, and brought in the more manageable "I am not a Robot" tick box. But they've just updated their AI, called advanced risk analysis engine, so that you don't even have to do that anymore.
Everything now happens in the background, it's basically invisible. Instead of bluntly asking you whether you are a robot or not, Google's AI is assigned to certain buttons scattered around websites which can help it to determine whether you are in fact a human. If the AI does deem some traffic to be suspicious, it'll then ask you to solve a puzzle to prove that you are a living, breathing entity. Hopefully the bots won't rise up against this new security any time soon.
You can watch Google's video announcing its updated and cleverer version of reCAPTCHA below.
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